India is eyeing investments from the $700-billion sovereign wealth fund of Norway.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will be meeting the fund officials during his ongoing visit to that country.

Briefing newspersons on Khurshid’s visit, a Ministry spokesman said that the Minister would take forward discussions that Fund officials had here with senior Government officials, including Finance Minister P. Chidambaram; and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia; in April.

The Minister will explore ways to facilitate investments into the country, including in the infrastructure sector, the spokesman said.

The sovereign wealth fund, said to be one of the richest in the world, is a Norway Government pension fund.

During the visit, Khurshid will also hold meetings with the Norwegian Foreign Minister and other senior officials, including the Prime Minister.

Data ‘snooping’

The spokesman said that the Government was “concerned and surprised” about the possibility of data relating to private communications of Indians being harvested.

“We feel that the Cyber Security Dialogue co-ordinated by the National Security Councils on both sides is the appropriate forum to discuss such issues. We intend to seek information and details during consultations between interlocutors on both sides on this matter. If Indian laws relating to privacy of information Indian ordinary citizens have been violated surely we will find it unacceptable,” the spokesman added.

The Guardian newspaper had recently acquired top secret documents about data mining used by the US National Security Agency which showed that India came in fifth with 6.3 billion pieces of information being collected from the country’s computer and data networks in one month alone.

(This article was published on June 11, 2013)
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