New Delhi: At the July 3 meeting with state power ministers, the Centre is expected to enlist support from states in tightening the noose around Chinese imports by asking them to shun Made-in-China technology and equipment in the power sector, a source in the know of the matter told PSU Watch on Thursday. The issue is going to be a key agenda for the meeting as confrontation between India and China continues in Ladakh.
The Centre is also expected to take up the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, the Rs 90,000-crore package announced by the government for discoms, among other issues, the source said.
The source added that the Centre is likely to urge state governments to take tariff-based and non-tariff measures and support it in its effort to up the economic ante against China. The news comes in the backdrop of the government banning 59 Chinese apps — a move which was dubbed as a 'digital strike' by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
On June 23, PSU Watch had reported that the Centre has introduced a slew of measures to discourage imports and incentivise procurement from domestic manufacturers. The government is set to place more tariff barriers, subsidise financing for procurement of equipment from domestic manufacturers, vet imports from "prior reference countries," and undertake rigorous testing of foreign equipment as part of its plan to promote Make in India and promote Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
At a meeting with industry stakeholders and associations like CII, FICCI, PHD Chamber, Solar and Wind manufacturers, Power Minister RK Singh had asked the industry leaders to not import any equipment/materials/goods in respect of which there is sufficient domestic capacity. The minister had also said that financing from Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will be structured in such a manner that lower rates of interest will be charged on the developers who will use domestically manufactured equipments. These three state-run companies account for most of the financing received by the power sector.
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