Chinese firms will be kept away from road projects, says Gadkari1 min read . Updated: 01 Jul 2020, 07:34 PM IST
We will not give permission to joint ventures that have Chinese partners for road construction. We have taken a firm stand that if they (Chinese companies) come via joint venture in our country, we will not allow it, Nitin Gadkari said
Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said the government will soon firm up a policy to relax norms that will offer more chance for domestic companies to participate in road projects. The government will also ban Chinese companies to participate in Indian highway projects, including those through joint ventures.
“We will not give permission to joint ventures that have Chinese partners for road construction. We have taken a firm stand that if they (Chinese companies) come via joint venture in our country, we will not allow it," Gadkari told new agency Press Trust of India in an interview.
The development comes in the back soon after 20 Indian troops were killed in a violent face-off with Chinese troops in the Galwan area of Ladakh in June. Amid rising tensions between both the nations, the union government, on Monday, banned 59 apps citing that they are ‘engaged in activities, which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’. Maharashtra has already put some deals with Chinese firms on hold, railways has junked a project with a Beijing-based company citing poor progress, and the power minister has also said that if possible, Indian companies shall look at ways of getting out of contracts inked with Chinese firms, given that power is a strategic and sensitive sector.
The new policy will be implemented in current and future tenders, even as the presence of Chinese firms in the highway construction is limited. Rebidding would be done if there are any Chinese joint ventures for any project, the minister said. Besides, qualification norms for projects will be rationalised to ensure Indian companies do not need to enter into pacts with foreign partners to grab projects. However, the minister clarified that the idea was encourage foreign investors, but only ban Chinese firms.
“We have taken a decision to relax norms for our companies to ensure that they qualify in bidding in large projects. I have directed the Highways Secretary (Giridhar Aramane) and NHAI Chairman (SS Sandhu) to hold a meeting for relaxing technical and financial norms so that our companies can qualify to work," Gadkari said.