Indian Government to Raise OVL's Foreign Investment Limit

The Government is likely to empower ONGC Videsh Ltd, the foreign arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, to make investments of up to Rs 300 crore in oil and gas properties abroad without going to the Cabinet for approval.

"A note for the consideration of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has been circulated enhancing the powers of OVL to approve projects involving investments up to $75 million or Rs 300 crore, whichever is less," a top official in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said. OVL board is currently empowered to take investment decisions of up to Rs 200 crore or $50 million.

"This (enhancement of OVL powers) will enable the board to take up fast decisions to acquire medium-sized projects and ventures to increase their oil and gas production from overseas participation," he said. Recently, OVL had lost out on key assets to the Chinese companies, as its investment decision could not be ratified by the CCEA in time.