Multiple committees to draw roadmap for restricting Chinese imports

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New Delhi, July 28, 2020-

The government proposes to set up multiple committees to draw and implement guidelines and procedures for vetting, registration and security clearance of suppliers sharing a land border with India.

The exercise is aimed at preventing frivolous suppliers to gain market access in India while restricting and ensuring security compliance from suppliers of Chinese origin.

India’s relations with China have nosedived following the bloody clash in eastern Ladakh on June 15 and the simmering tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The government has already put all FDI proposals by investors from the countries sharing land border with India on the clearance route, meaning such proposals will now require government approval first.

Official sources said that a committee comprising officials of the Home Ministry, the External Affairs Ministry and the Finance and Commerce Ministries would first draw up the guidelines and framework to vet application from these countries requiring government clearance.

Then another committee under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) would be set up to vet all applications for supplies coming from countries sharing land border with India.

This commuter would ensure whether prior registration of suppliers needs to be done and whether the supplier can get security clearance.

Another committee under a joint secretary-level official will be set up for registration of suppliers under the new guidelines.

“The entire exercise is aimed at preventing supplies and investment into the country from entities that could pose security threat to the country’s installations by way of bringing malware in their supplies or putting the country’s infrastructure projects to greater risk of a possible collapse,” said the official source quoted earlier.

In the power sector, Power Minister R.K. Singh has already said that all imports, particularly those coming from China, will face scrutiny and would first be cleared by the ministry before progressing further.

The Power Ministry has already proposed higher duty on solar power equipment to restrict Chinese imports while instituting a system of incentivised loans to entities using all domestic equipment.

The restrictions and systems being put in place by the government is expected to affect infrastructure sectors such as power, telecom, highways etc. that depend a lot on imports for critical equipment from neighbouring countries, particularly China.

Taking the level of restrictions further, all vendors registered on government e-marketplace (GeM) would now be required to produce a certificate declaring their compliance to the new procedures on procurement. Registration to GeM has been made mandatory for all supplies to public sector enterprises.  (Agency)


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