We will not allow any Chinese company to invest in India’s highway projects: Nitin Gadkari

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 02, 2020 Published on July 02, 2020

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari   -  PTI

As India engages in border standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday that the Centre will not allow Chinese firms to invest in India’s highway projects, as per the Hindustan Times report.

He added that the investors will not be allowed to invest in sectors such as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

This comes as the government on Monday banned 59 Chinese apps citing threat to national security

“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 a joint venture in our country, we will not allow it,” Gadkari told PTI in an interview.

Gadkari said the policy that will be rolled out soon will ease norms for Indian companies and restrict China from investing in highway projects.

With respect to existing tenders and future bids, Gadkari said rebidding would be done if there are any Chinese joint ventures.

“We have taken a decision to relax norms for our companies to ensure that they qualify for 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,” he said.

Speaking on the move, Gadkari said if a contractor can qualify for a small project, he can also qualify for a large project. “Construction norms are not good so I have asked to change it. We are changing it so that we can encourage Indian companies,” he added.

According to the Transport Minister, qualification norms for projects are being modified so that Indian investors do not have to go after foreign partners to grab projects, HT report added.

“Even if we have to go for a foreign joint venture in the areas of technology, consultancy or design, we will not allow Chinese,” the Minister said.

Regarding MSMEs, Gadkari said that the Ministry will focus on enhancing the capacity of local production, at the same time promoting foreign investment.

However, he said overtly that as far as foreign investment is concerned, China will be restrained.

“For upgradation of technology, research, consultancy and other works, we will encourage foreign investment and joint ventures in MSMEs, but we will not entertain the Chinese,” he said.

‘No arbitrary stopping of Chinese goods’

On stopping of consignments from China at Indian ports, the Minister said there is “no arbitrary stopping of goods” at Indian ports and the government is initiating path-breaking reforms to help MSMEs and businesses in a bid to make the country self-reliant.

“It is a good step. The imports from China will be discouraged and the country will take large strides towards self-reliance,” the Minister said, adding that he is among the strongest proponents of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

“Indian business has the strength and skills to grow further and power our journey towards self-reliance. Under the strong leadership of PM Narendra Modi, the Government of India is proactive and initiating path-breaking reforms that will help businesses and MSMEs,” he said.

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Published on July 02, 2020
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