India will not import power equipment from China: R K Singh
New Delhi: Power Minister R K Singh on Friday said that India will not import power equipment from China, amid a border standoff with China.
During a virtual press conference with state counterparts, he also asserted that the equipment import from China and Pakistan would not be permitted especially on the basis of inspection.
He further said state discoms should not give orders for supply of equipment to Chinese firms.
"We manufacture everything here. India imported Rs 71,000 crore worth power equipment including Rs 21,000 crore from China," Singh said in the state energy ministers conference chaired by him this morning in his opening remarks.
He said: "This (huge import of power equipment) is something we cannot tolerate that a country will transgress into our territory....we will not take anything from China and Pakistan."
He further said: "We will not give permission for import from Prior Reference countries. We are affected. There could be malware or trojan horse in those (imports from China) which they can activate remotely (to cripple our power
Prior reference counties share land borders with us.
Singh further said that it is a pity that tower elements, conductors, transformers and parts of meters are imported, which are manufactured and available here.
He further stated, "Your discoms order equipment from Chinese companies. We request you not to order from Chinese companies."
He stressed that under the Atamnirbhar Bharat mission India will not import any equipment from China which is available here and will go for inspection of imported equipment.
Under inspection, the government can deny import of equipment.
The senior minister's assertions assume significance against the backdrop of border standoff between India and China in Ladakh that also saw the death of 20 Indian Army personnel last month.
The minister also announced about a new scheme for funding discoms which would subsume three schemes-UDAY, DDUGJY and IPDS.
The power ministry has made prior permission mandatory to import electricity equipment - used in supply network - from prior reference countries like China and Pakistan.
The decision taken by the ministry amid a stand-off with China at the border.
In an office order issued on July 2, the Ministry said: "Any import of equipment or components or parts from "prior reference" countries as specified or by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or the directions of these 'prior reference' countries will require prior permission of the Government of lndia".
According to the order, all equipment, components, and parts imported for use in the power supply system and network will be tested in the country to check for any kind of embedded malware/trojans/cyber threat and for adherence to Indian standards.
All such testings will be done in certified laboratories that will be designated by the Ministry of Power, it noted.
"Where the equipment or components/parts are imported from 'prior reference' countries, with special permission, the protocol for testing in certified and designated laboratories shall be approved by the Ministry of Power," it added.
This order will apply to any item imported for end use or to be used as a component, or as a part in manufacturing, assembling of any equipment or to be used in power supply system or any activity directly or indirectly related to power supply system, the ministry said.