"Hindujas and Qatar government would contribute equally to the fund ($500 million each) as corpus for projects in India and Qatar to set up manufacturing facilities and infrastructure projects," R J Shahaney, chairman of Hinduja group company Ashok Leyland Project Services Ltd, said.
As part of the initiative, Hinduja Group signed a memorandum of understanding with ministry of economy and commerce of Qatar for joint participation and investment in the two countries.
While Group president G P Hinduja signed on behalf of the group, Economy and Commerce Minister Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al Thani signed for Qatar government.
Asked about the level of investment in the identified projects in areas like infrastructure, banking and financial services, Information technology, manufacturing, health care and education and entertainment industry, Shahaney said "it can be between $5 to 10 billion."
On Hinduja group's exposure in these projects, he said "We will like to have equity in each of the projects. We will involve suitable Indian company for specific projects." Hinduja Group's overall exposure could be to the tune of $2.5 billion dollars, he added.
Shahaney said all the projects with Qatar would be in 50:50 joint venture and "We will create a special purpose vehicle for each project to take a suitable partner. It can be something like L&T for infrastructure projects."
He, however, clarified that Hindujas have not talked to any Indian entity as yet for the purpose. "We have just signed the MoU. Now joint working group will be set up immediately after Id (early next month)," Shahaney said.
He said that his group has also proposed setting up of a special economic zone in Qatar where a specific place could be created for Indian companies to set up manufacturing units to take advantage of favourable investment climate and tax regime.
For example, Qatar and Hindujas could set up a plant to convert alumina from bauxite in India and a separate JV could be set up in Doha for extracting aluminium from this alumina, he said and explained that aluminium extraction was a highly energy-intensive process and efficient energy resources in Qatar could be ideal for this.
The idea for such mega investment in diverse projects like these (as enlisted in MOU) first occured to G P Hinduja when he visited Doha in November last year. Subsequently group President discussed the possibilities after realising that Qatar with huge resources was looking for "safe" countries for investment projects.