New Delhi: A steel ministry panel has suggested delegating more powers to the management of International Coal Ventures (ICVL) to enable it to take speedy decisions on acquiring coal assets abroad.
"The management will have to be delegated with powers to decide quickly on merchant bankers, due diligence etc," the panel, constituted for rationalising the procedure for import and optimising the use of coking coal, said in its report.
It also recommended that the procedures need to be simplified to choose agencies that do legal, technical and financial due diligence while evaluating the suitability and value of the projects.
Set up in 2009 as a consortium of five state-run firms, ICVL is empowered to make investments up to Rs 1,500 crore. For proposals exceeding that, it needs to take approval from an empowered committee of secretaries. ICVL has failed to acquire any assest so far.
"ICVL needs to make more aggressive offers since it is not only price that matters but also raw material security. Decisions on how much to bid need to be taken quickly," the panel said.
The panel suggested that government should provide a sovereign or overseas acquisition fund to develop infrastructure such as ports and railroads especially in countries where these have been a bottleneck for acquisition.
"Since the assets on offer are limited, there is a need to broad-base the operations to all potential countries and set up a separate cell for each project so that the studies can be expedited," it said.
"The acquisition of coking coal assets overseas should be viewed more as a strategic need in view of SAIl and RINL's growing requirements and securitisation of raw material and not merely on considerations of profit," the panel said.
First Published: Monday, October 1, 2012, 20:07