Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources, on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not get enough time to deliver on his promises and he expected a strong leader at the top in 2019 after the general elections.
In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Agarwal said he is looking forward to work with the new governments of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and added that every states have to focus on business.
Talking on Rajasthan, where the company has the highest investment, Agarwal said any party that wins assembly elections in the desert state has to focus on business and must give priority to double the oil production.
Vedanta is producing 30 percent of crude oil from Barmer oilfields in Rajasthan.
Talking on India’s oil and coal import dependence, Agarwal said he was disappointed that country continues to be dependent on importing natural resources despite having large reserves.
On Coal India, he said India has just one company, which supplies coal and has a monopoly over it. However, by importing coal and buying power from exchanges, it’s hurting the company.
Calling public sector undertakings and banks as India’s backbone, he said nowhere in the world a democratic country runs business and government should bring down majority shareholding in state-run companies.
Agarwal said he definitely believed that Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been the best move by the government, but has mixed view on demonetisation.
My dream is to create a second Bokaro (SAIL like plant) in Jharkhand by the acquisition of Electrosteel Steels Ltd (ESL), he said, adding that Vedanta plans to employee around 30-40,000 workers for the plant.
In July this year, Vedanta had acquired the control of ESL under a resolution plan. This acquisition marks Vedanta’s entry into steel making in India. ESL has a steel manufacturing capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in Bokaro, Jharkhand/CNBCTV18.