by Madeeha Khan
After the clash at the Indo-Sino border, India not only has banned 59 Chinese apps but the Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and MSME, Mr Nitin Gadkari, on Wednesday 1st July, said that no Chinese company will participate in highway projects, including those in joint ventures.
The government will prevent Chinese investment in various sectors like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which forms the kernel of India’s manufacturing centre, he added. He also told that a new policy would be constructed and released to ban China originated firms as they want the Indian companies to expand their eligibility criteria for being a part in the highway projects, hence relaxing their norms.
Furthermore, he also said, “Even if we have to go for a foreign joint venture in the areas of technology, consultancy or design, we will not allow Chinese.” Chinese investment will not even be entertained for up-gradation of any work. Intricating into the topic he added that if a contractor can do a small project he can also qualify for large ones. The qualification norms need to be rationalised to ensure that the Indian companies do not require to get into pacts with foreign partners to take projects. “Construction norms are not good so I have asked to change it. We are changing it so that we can encourage Indian companies,” he added.
On 12th June the Modi government had given an Rs. 1,126 crore contract to a Chinese multinational construction company- Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. Ltd. (STEC) for the construction of the 5.6 km underground stretch between New Ashok Nagar-Sahibabad, Delhi- Meerut RRTS project. The co-convener Ashwani Mahajan of the RSS affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) demanded the government to cancel this bid and petitioned to Mr Gadkari to encourage domestic players in critical projects.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) also cancelled the bidding process for the design, manufacturing, supply, testing and commissioning of 10 monorail rakes as both the bids received were from two Chinese manufacturers- China Rail Road Corporation and Build Your Dreams.
Even though we strive to ban Chinese firms or apps, some of the parts might turn out to be from there. As the material for the entire model of the Statue of Unity was manufactured in India but the statue’s surface had been created using 553 bronze panels, which were made in a foundry in China because such huge panels couldn’t be made in India, due to lack of facility. So the question here arises is, ‘Is India as a nation ready to function without the help of China? If yes, then how?’
Mr Gadkari said that rebidding would be done if there are any Chinese joint ventures. The effort is to enhance and encourage the capacity of local production but at the same time, foreign investment will be promoted. “It is a good step. The imports from China will be discouraged and the country will take a large stride towards self-reliance,” hence showing himself as a strong advocate of an “Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
However, he hasn’t mentioned the name of the countries from where the equipment will be imported. Hoping that the government sticks to their word of banning Chinese firms and find a good or better alternative to carry out the projects.
Image Credits:- The Wire