This is a discussion on CEOs to set agenda for Indo-US energy, agri collaboration within the Investment forums, part of the Financial Services category; Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Tuesday urged Indian CEOs to hold dialogue with their US counterparts and draw ...
Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Tuesday urged Indian CEOs to hold dialogue with their US counterparts and draw up a list of policy areas likely to hinder collaboration in energy and agriculture.
His comments at an interactive meeting organised here by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) come ahead of US President George Bush's visit to India next year.
Stating that the proposed Indo-US collaboration is not meant to be a government to government effort, Ahluwalia told CEOs: "The US government clearly wants us to go beyond that as it is clearly meant to be a predominantly private sector effort."
The Indian CEOs Forum, headed by Tata Group chief Ratan Tata, would be meeting in the capital on Sep 9 to study some critical areas that could prove potential roadblocks.
This would be followed by a meeting of the Indo-US CEOs Forum in October to draw up a list of areas that need to be addressed at the higher level.
"The representatives of the Indo-US CEOs forum would present the government a short laundry list of critical areas that need focused attention," said Ahluwalia.
"The CEOs forum should come up with doable proposals for collaboration and raise critical policy issues before the visit of President Bush next year so that internal discussions can take place," he said.
Ahluwalia disclosed that the US treasury secretary would be visiting India in October to talk with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.
Under the Indo-US collaboration programme, five working groups have been set up to study issues related to non-conventional energy, clean development mechanism, oil and gas, agriculture and civil aviation.
On the agriculture initiative, Ahluwalia said India would seek collaboration in research with institutions and universities, which would "enable India to move to the next generation of growth with focus on post harvest management and food processing".
The aim is to help Indian agriculture benefit from new technologies to boost food production and aid Indian exporters in gaining access to the EU markets and meet the new stringent food norms.
On the energy front, Ahluwalia clarified that while seeking US collaboration in nuclear energy, India would continue to focus on development of the coal sector as it would remain a primary energy fuel.
Apart from the use of coal, the alliance is expected to help India tap coal bed methane gas and utilise evolving technology for coal gasification within the mines. Hydrogen fuel is to be another area of partnership, the official said.
"The US has joined us in the Asia Pacific clean development partnership in non-fossil fuel."
FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra revealed that the industry lobby would be organising a Focus India exhibition in Chicago Sep 27-29 as part of the effort to push the private sector dialogue ahead.