Indian Gov't Will Not Ban Countries from Bidding in NELP

The Indian government has decided against following the recommendations of the defense ministry and has said it will not block any country from bidding for exploration licenses. The defense ministry had wanted to block companies from such countries as China, Pakistan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and many Arab countries from bidding on certain exploration blocks in the upcoming licensing round.

The terms for bidding under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) have enough safeguards to protect national interests. The defense ministry's plea for keeping out certain countries on security concerns, has not been accepted, according to one government source. Being a signatory of the World Trade Organization, India cannot keep out member signatory countries from any bidding process.