14 January , 2020 Fdiindia
PM Modi to Allow FDI in the Nuclear Power Sector?
Reportedly, with the aim of making the country a global player in the nuclear power sector, the government of India is mulling over the decision to allow foreign direct investment or FDI in the nuclear power arena.
This decision, which is likely to be deliberated by Prime Minister Modi, would be a significant reform in the nuclear power policy of India. This step would open the gates for multinational companies to invest in India’s nuclear energy projects.
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), after a discussion with the Prime Minister on if overseas direct investment should be permitted in the nuclear power sector, has also sought out the legal opinion of the Union Law Ministry.
A letter by Joint Secretary of the DAE, Anushakti Bhawan, dated January 8 this year read, "The department (DAE) proposes to submit a report for consideration to the PMO after seeking guidance from the Atomic Energy Commission for amending the policy."
The latter further revealed that the Atomic Energy Act does not in any way prohibit private sector participation in the nuclear power projects. The DAE’s stand on the subject was clearly outlined.
"DAE's stand is that the Atomic Energy Act in no way prohibits private sector participation in nuclear power projects," the latter read.
As per an official from the Department of Atomic Energy, "The Act allows private investment. However, the FDI policy of the government does not permit foreign investment in nuclear projects. Once the FDI policy is amended, it would open doors for more funds in the nuclear power sector."
Also, sources revealed that overseas companies like Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC), GE-Hitachi of the United States, Electricite de France, and Rosatom of Russia had expressed an interest to participate in the nuclear power projects of India.
According to experts, if foreign direct investment is allowed in the nuclear power sector of India, it would result in a significant expansion of the sector.