India seeks Chinese investment in roads

India seeks Chinese investment in roads

The recent friction between the two countries over the presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the denial of visas to a top Indian General did not seem to be palpable at the event, which was addressed by Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath as the head of a delegation of business leaders.

Officials of top Chinese investment and infrastructure companies were also present.
Besides meeting with the heads of the top investment companies like the Chinese Investment Corporation (CIC) and Social Security Fund (SSF), which handles massive Chinese pension funds, Nath also met his Chinese counterpart, Li Shenglin, and discussed cooperation.

Nath is due to attend a similar meeting to canvas investment in the Chinese coastal town of Tianjin tomorrow.

In a brief interaction with the Indian media here, Nath said India Chinese investments is welcome all across the country.

Nath said in his interaction with the Chinese investors a host of issues came up, including discrimination against investments by listed Chinese-owned investment companies like the CIC and SSF by Indian market regulator SEBI.

"I have dispelled any perception they had about discrimination," Nath said.
"They thought that there was discrimination, especially under the SEBI regulation that there is a 10 per cent cap for investment and the China structure being such that CIC and SSF their investment gets clubbed together", which exceeds the cap.
Nath said the problem was similar to what India faced in Singapore, which was resolved through the Singapore–India cooperation agreement in 2006.

"They felt it is China-specific and I told them it is universal," he said, adding that he would take up the issue with the Prime Minister and the concerned ministries to resolve it.
"They recognise that there are huge opportunities in India. They were surprised when I said we awarded 118 projects with a combined length of 7,500 km last year. We propose to award about 10,000 km this year," Nath said.
"We just recently awarded a project in Kashmir to a Chinese joint venture company," he informed, adding that the government cleared it after taking security aspects into consideration, he said.

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