India pulls plug on power gear imports from China

The power ministry has put curbs on import of equipment, especially from China and Pakistan, in a move the industry says could deal a big blow to Chinese suppliers and create opportunities worth over Rs.1 lakh crore for domestic manufacturers who are sitting on overcapacity.

The ministry issued an order stipulating equipment or parts from ‘prior reference’ (identified) countries cannot be imported without government permission. Moreover, all imported items used in supply systems will have to undergo tests at designated labs for embedded trojans or malware. The ministry will approve the testing protocol in cases where imports are permitted from identified countries.

“Today, we manufacture everything that is required for power generation, transmission and distribution. We cannot tolerate a situation in which a country transgresses into our territory and yet we create jobs there, even though we have the manufacturing capability,” power minister R. K Singh said while inaugurating the state power ministers conference on Friday.

“We have decided not to buy from prior-reference (identified) countries. Any equipment imported (from these countries) will need permission. We will not allow (items that are indigenously manufactured to be imported),” he said seeking cooperation from the states.

A government dossier shows some 272 items used by the industry are manufactured in India and also exported . Only four items have to be imported. But still, India imported power equipment worth Rs.71,000 crore in 2018-19, including Rs.21,000 crore from China.

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