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Qatar miffed by jump in India-Abu Dhabi airline seats,FM told PM

Qatar's offer was to reinvest $3 billion each year from its crude oil and LNG sales earnings

Written by Amitav Ranjan | New Delhi |
July 5, 2013 3:30:06 am

Members of Parliament,it seems,are not the only ones irked by the controversial increase in weekly airline seat entitlements between India and Abu Dhabi.

India’s energy partner Qatar was also disappointed with the speedy approval to the India-Abu Dhabi pact and the sentiment was conveyed to Finance Minister P Chidambaram in May by Qatar’s then Emir,Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani,and Minister for Economy and Finance,Youssef Kamal.

“They are disappointed that there has been no follow up after the conclusions arrived at when the Emir visited India in April 2012. In particular,they are disappointed that no action has been taken on the promise to enhance bilateral rights to Qatar Airways but some steps have been taken in favour of Etihad airline,” Chidambaram wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after visiting Qatar on May 18-19.

Chidambaram suggested including “enhanced bilateral rights for Qatar Airways and Indian carriers” in the next meeting with Doha,which indicated it could invest up to $3 billion each year in India. “They would like the meeting to take place as soon as possible,” he informed Singh.

Qatar’s offer was to reinvest $3 billion each year from its crude oil and LNG sales earnings. “Qatar is willing to invest large sums of money both as FDI and as portfolio investment (equity and debt),” Chidambaram wrote.

It also offered to buy ADB’s 5 per cent stake in India’s Petronet LNG Ltd.

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