Indian capital: Make money or die trying

Below is a very small glimpse of how agressive Indian capital has become today, and why it needs to enter into a coalition and competition with other centres of imperialism. This explains, at least partially, the changed tenor of India’s foreign policy. But what is required to be studied is how much India and its economic lords contribute in exacerbating the trouble. -Ed.

Pouring Money on Troubled Waters

Forbes

The occasional bloodbath -or 10- hardly dissuades enthusiastic Indian businessmen from setting up shop even in nations where mortality rate is, to put it mildly, comparatively high. Make money or die trying!

Bolivia

The Conflict: Deep-seated poverty, social unrest, racial violence and illegal drug production.

Indian Investment: In 2006, Jindal Steel and Power acquired development rights to 20 billion tonnes of El Mutun iron ore reserves; will invest $1.5 billion initially and $2.5 billion over next eight years–the single largest investment by an Indian firm in Latin America. But, project delayed due to problems in acquiring land rights.

Sudan

The Conflict: Civil wars; refugee influx from neighboring countries.

Indian Investment: ONGC’s overseas investment arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd, invested $720 million for 25% stake in Upper Nile oil field; signed a $194 million contract to construct 741 km-long multi-product pipeline. ONGC faces international pressure to quit Sudan, on grounds that revenues from oil drilling funds continuation of war by government.

Nigeria

The Conflict: Ethnic/religious tensions; organized crime.

Indian Investment: Pramod Mittal’s Global Steel Holdings bought 80% stake in Delta Steel, Nigeria in 2005, for $30 million. Kidnapping of Indian workers is a threat. Following kidnapping reports in 2007, Indian commission asked Indian companies to scale down operations.

Israel

The Conflict: The heart of the world’s bloodiest strife

Indian Investment: Sun Pharmaceuticals invested $100 million in Taro Pharma; holds 36% in the company. However, its $454-million proposal to acquire Taro came unstuck. India-Israel Initiative for industrial R&D, a bilateral framework to provide financial assistance for joint R&D ventures between Indian and Israeli companies, has been created.

Afghanistan

The Conflict: Cold war battlefield; now Taliban’s hunting ground.

Indian Investment: India has pledged around $1.2 billion in several reconstruction projects. Power Grid Corporation is involved with Rs. 500 crore in the Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul power transmission project. India completed construction of 218-km Zaranj-Delaram Highway in South-Western Afghanistan despite attacks by Taliban.

Iran

The Conflict: Nuclear nontouchable. Indian presence in Iran has been under scrutiny due to Balochistan conflict.

Indian Investment: India is to build a 4,000 MW gas based power plant in Iran. State-owned NTPC is likely to build the station and Power Grid Corporation of India may set up the accompanying transmission network to wheel the electricity from Iran to India. The proposed station may cost upwards of Rs. 20,000 crore.

Sri Lanka

The Conflict: A long-standing Tamil ethnic strife that ravaged the economy came to an end this year.

Indian Investment: Indian companies are helping in the reconstruction. Bharti Airtel plans to invest around $200 million there. IndianOil is the largest Indian investor. L&T is to build Sri Lanka’s tallest building costing $150 million. National Thermal Power Corp plans coal power plant at Sampur. Several Indian public sector banks have been in the country for long. ICICI is a new entrant.

This article appears in the December 4 issue of Forbes India, a Forbes Media licensee.

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