New Delhi: The Indian government has decided not to allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects, including those through joint ventures.
Amidst the border standoff with China, which seems to be getting more serious with every passing day, Union Road Transport, Highways and MSME minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday the government will ensure that Chinese investors are not entertained in various sectors like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Two days ago, the government had banned 59 apps, mostly with Chinese links, citing threats to national security.
Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed last month in a bloody skirmish at Galwan Valley in Ladakh region.
“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,” PTI quoted Gadkari as saying.
He informed that a policy will soon be formulated banning Chinese firms and relaxing norms for Indian companies to expand their eligibility criteria for participation in highway projects.
Asked about the existing tenders, 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 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,” he said.
Gadkari elaborated that if a contractor qualifies for a small project, he can also be involved in the process 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.