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RK Singh bans imports from China, Pakistan, expands Rs 90,000-cr package scope

At a meeting, RK Singh asked state power ministers to not use Chinese equipment and to procure power sector equipment from domestic manufacturers

At a meeting, RK Singh asked state power ministers to not use Chinese equipment and to procure power sector equipment from domestic manufacturers.
At a meeting, RK Singh asked state power ministers to not use Chinese equipment and to procure power sector equipment from domestic manufacturers.
  • While asserting that the power sector is strategic and essential in nature and is hence, vulnerable to cyber attacks, Singh said that imported equipments will be subjected to testing

  • Another major decision taken at the meeting was to expand the scope and ambit of the Rs 90,00-crore package announced by the government in May

New Delhi: At a meeting held on Friday, Minister of Power RK Singh asked state power ministers to not use Chinese equipment and to procure all power sector equipment and technology which are available within the country from domestic manufacturers. While asserting that the power sector is strategic and essential in nature and is hence, vulnerable to cyber attacks, Singh said that imported equipments will be subjected to testing at certified and accredited laboratories designated by the ministry to check influx of malwares like Trojan etc. Citing recent transgression in border areas, the minister also said that India will not allow imports from China and Pakistan.

Imports from China stand at Rs 20,000 cr, overall import bill at Rs 71,000 cr

Singh said that India’s import bill for power equipments was around  Rs 71,000 crore in the year 2018-19 even when the country has manufacturing facility and ability for various requirements of the power sector, which includes import of over Rs 20,000 crore from China. Interacting with state power ministers, Singh stressed that import replacement is a priority.

Scope of Rs 90,000-cr package expanded to cover discom losses till June

Another major decision taken at the meeting was to expand the scope and ambit of the Rs 90,00-crore package announced by the government in May for stressed discoms as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. After states and union territories requested the Union Minister to extend the package for covering discom losses till June, the package’s scope has now been expanded and is expected to reach Rs 1.25 trillion. 

Singh said that some states have not been able to access the package and their borrowing limit will have to be relaxed. He added that a proposal in this regard has been mooted. The minister also said that states have requested a reduction in interest rates for these loans, which is under consideration.

The draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill

Among the issues discussed at the meeting was the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Singh said that the amendments were discussed and some misconceptions which were there have been answered “by and large.” “The minister stated that various state /UT governments and other stakeholders have given various suggestions on the proposed Electricity Amendments Bill,2020, and the suggestions made during the meeting were noted while their mis-founded apprehensions were clarified,” an official statement said.

In the second session of the video conference, issues of New and Renewable Energy were discussed.  Singh said that the MNRE is planning to launch a new variant of the KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan) scheme, in which the feeder to the agriculture sector will be solarised. 

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