New Delhi: The Coal Ministry on Tuesday said there was no need for arbitration with The Children's Investment Fund and the issues could be solved amicably, amid the London-based hedge fund alleging violation of international treaties related to its investments in Coal India.
   
"I think matter can be solved without arbitration and amicably," Coal Secretary Alok Perti said.

The development follows The Children's Investment Fund (TCI), a minority shareholder in Coal India (CIL) serving notice to Indian government for alleged violations of international treaties.

"I have told TCI if they have any issues they can send us representation. In case of commercial issues like pricing, they should talk to Coal India," Perti said after a meeting with a TCI official.
   
In March, TCI had said in a letter to the Finance Ministry that: "The Republic of India's recent conduct with respect to CIL has seriously impaired the business activities and operations of CIL and has contravened each of the treaties".

TCI is the biggest foreign investor in CIL and has a minority stake of over one percent in it. It has been accusing the PSU of not protecting minority shareholders' interest and harming the company by not opposing fuel supply pacts.

The Minister of State for Coal, Pratik Prakashbapu Patil, earlier this month had said in a reply to the Lok Sabha that TCI had indicated it would take legal action against CIL board for breach of fiduciary duties.

The allegations by the hedge fund against CIL include under-pricing of coal in the fuel supply agreement compared to the market level and tardy progress in setting up of washeries, among other things.

"The allegations levelled against CIL are relating to operational matters of CIL and CIL needs to address them as per the framework set up by the company to handle investor grievances," the minister had said.

TCI's investments in CIL are through TCI Cyprus Holding Ltd and Talos Capital Ltd.

The hedge fund had also requested for formal negotiations with Indian government on the issue for amicable settlement of the claims.

"Failing such settlements within six months, we reserve our rights to initiate arbitration" in accordance with Cyprus and UK treaties, TCI had said.

(Agencies)

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