Retrospective taxes. Asking OPEC to reduce production. Raising oil prices at the pump. India’s perplexing actions on energy seem designed to defeat the Modi government’s declared goals of disinvestment of the public sector and welcoming foreign capital.
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The ongoing turmoil in the oil markets due to the pandemic and underutilized supply, presents a long-term opportunity for India to secure its energy future. It can take small stakes in the listed oil and gas companies of stable Western democracies like the U.S., Canada and Australia, through a specially-created sovereign wealth fund. This will allow India to be better prepared for the era when prices rise again.
India can attract greater foreign direct investment through green bonds – a climate finance debt instrument that addresses environmental and climate-related challenges. These issuances have been linearly increasing over the years, driven by institutional pressure, provided in part by the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s regulation, and by the informal advocacy of market stakeholders.
Canada has been one of the biggest success stories in oil over the past few years. India should consider financial investments in Canadian energy assets as a means to secure its energy supplies.
The government’s short-term approach to tax planning brings in immediate revenues but has the long-term downfall of driving away business, and encouraging tax evasion. No country has taxed its way to prosperity and India is no exception.
The OPEC’s proposed cut in oil production earlier this week may not enable the energy market to recover. Recovery is likely only after COVID-19 is brought under control, but there are ways India can capitalise on the current low oil prices for its own energy security
U.S. President Donald Trump's recent visit to India gave a boost to bilateral energy ties. To really benefit, India’s state-owned oil companies should consider investing in U.S. shale oil. The U.S. is politically and economically stable and investors are not subject to arbitrary action. Indian companies should only be financial investors, not operators of assets, and bet on companies with manageable debt and efficient operations rather than short-term winners
China’s clean-up of its cities and its success in improving urban air quality hold important lessons for India. But the outbreak of the corona virus and reports that news about it was initially suppressed tell a different story. While physical infrastructure is important, equally vital are a free media and an open society, where people are not afraid to speak
It’s time to start moving on matters in which Canada is a natural ally for India - trade liberalization, energy investments, intellectual property and the rules around e-commerce in particular and big data governance in general.
Decarbonising the transportation sector is an environmental priority globally, and hydrogen, the cleanest and most plentiful of fuels, is central to achieving this goal. If hydrogen mobility is actively pursued, India’s large reserves of gas hydrates and shale gas can be tapped for commercial use. Such a shift in choice of fuel will also ensure India’s energy security