By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday met with Leonid Petukov, CEO, Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency in New Delhi.
Russian delegation included Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev, Trade Representative of Russian Federation in India, YaroslavTarasyuk, other senior officials from Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency. Minister of State for steel Faggan Singh Kulaste, Secretary (Steel) Binoy Kumar along with senior representatives of Steel, Coal, and External Affairs were also present along with industry leaders from Indian steel, coal, port sectors.
Discussions centred around further developing economic linkages with Far East Russia, particularly through sourcing of metallurgical or coking coal, development of infrastructure of Far East Russia ports and connectivity of these ports with Russian mining locations, and improvements in evacuation infrastructure.
Pradhan also reviewed the progress made in strengthening ties pursuant to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Far East Russia. He further said that pursuant to his visit to Moscow and Vladivostok during the last three months, in which he had met Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Yuri Trutnev and subsequent meetings of representatives of Russian and Indian steel companies, the latter have started testing samples of coking coal from the Far East Russia in their plants.
The Minister stated that offtake of coal from Far East Russia can grow as the coking coal from Far East Russia becomes more attractive from the point of view of price, ease of availability, connectivity to the ports and sea transport.
He hoped that the improvements by Russian side in developing inland as well as port logistics and rail connectivity in Far East would go a long way in developing economic linkages with India. He also suggested Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency to indicate specific concessions that can be made to Indian importers of coking coal and to offer port facilities at preferential terms for Indian companies.
Pradhan thanked the representatives from Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency for visiting India and expressed confidence that the coming months will see significant increase in import of coking coal for Indian steel industry from Far East Russia.
India currently imports more than 50 MTPA coking coal. In view of huge opportunity offered by the Far East Russia to attract Indian investments, the Government of India earlier extended a USD 1 Billion line of credit to Russia. This line of credit can be used for furthering economic linkages with Far East Russia, including development of evacuation infrastructure and logistics in the Far East Russia.