Ban on power equipment imports from China, Pak; Can't give the job to the country that migrates to India: RK Singh

Permission for any equipment imported will be required and we will not allow equipment from China and Pakistan, Singh said

New Delhi: India will not allow the import of power equipment from China and Pakistan, Power Minister RK Singh announced on Friday morning, citing the recent change in border areas and cybersecurity threats. Imports from other countries will require permission.

“Today we manufacture everything necessary for power generation, transmission and distribution. In 2018-19, we imported power equipment worth Rs 71,000 crore, of which Rs 21,000 crore are Chinese.

We cannot tolerate this, that you have a country that migrates to our country and yet we create employment in that country when we have the ability to make it (equipment) ourselves.

We have decided not to buy from pre-reference countries. Any equipment imported will require permission. And we will not allow equipment from China and Pakistan.

Singh also said that the power grid was vulnerable to attacks. “The power system is vulnerable to malware attacks, which can shut down our communications, databases and defence systems.

Therefore, there is a need to inspect all imports and ban some countries, ”Singh said in his speech in Hindi, stating that imports of important power equipment have been banned in other countries as well.

An executive order moved by the White House in May blocked and curtailed transactions involving electric equipment, a bulk-power system manufactured or supplied by "anti-foreigners".

Singh sought support from the state governments to curb imports of tower elements, conductors, transformers and meter parts which are available indigenously.

He said high imports, especially from China, were also a concern in the renewable energy sector. He said that China sells equipment at artificially low rates to prevent dumping and damage to Indian manufacturing. He said the government plans to impose a 25% duty on solar equipment imports from August 1, which is proposed to be increased to 40% next year.

ET on Thursday said that in its meeting with power ministers of various states on Friday, Union Energy Minister RK Singh has asked the states to comply with central public procurement norms in issuing orders.

The government is deeply observing the allowed tender of Rs 55,000 crore emission control equipment by the thermal power sector, which has placed large orders of power equipment on Chinese companies in previous years.

Most private and various state power companies are in discussions with Chinese companies for emission control gear. Power utilities in states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra have demanded global bidders for procurement against the Center's public procurement norms. While Gujarat has placed an order with a sugar firm, Haryana recently cancelled its sugar order.

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