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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Some states plan to cancel contracts with Chinese firms

Some states have taken a tough line whereas others are reviewing current projects before taking a decision on cancelling them.
Continue reading on Hindustan Times

Some states have started planning to cancel contracts with Chinese companies and instructed personnel to remove China-made apps from mobile phones amid growing clamour to boycott goods produced by the neighbouring country after clashes in Ladakh left 20 soldiers dead.

On Saturday, Haryana annulled two tenders for installation of flue gas de-sulphurization (FGD) system at their thermal power plants at Hisar and Yamunanagar. The works under the two tenders carried a financial implication of about Rs 780 crore, Haryana government officials said, adding that more contracts with Chinese firms would be cancelled in the next few days.

Uttar Pradesh took a similar tough line. “Uttar Pradesh will not purchase any Chinese stuff for its energy sector,” said state power minister, Shrikant Sharma. “We will see to it that even the vendors do not supply any goods that are made wholly in China or use any part of it made in China,” he said on Friday.

His counterpart looking after industrial development in UP, Satish Mahana, however, said on Sunday that ending contracts with Chinese companies can have legal implications. “Such things (cancellation of Chinese contracts) cannot happen overnight as such deals have legal issues,” he said.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar expressed strong sentiments against the use of Chinese goods but his government has not issued any specific order in this regard. “There is need for reviewing previous trade agreements in a bid to ensure that Chinese products are not used,” Kumar had said at the all-party meeting called by PM Narendra Modi.

Bihar industry minister, Shyam Rajak, said there was no role of the state government in banning Chinese products. “Any foreign firms investing in the state has to get clearances from the Centre,” he said.

On Sunday, Uttarakhand government instructed officials to find out which Chinese companies have been given government contracts. Madan Kaushik, cabinet minister and spokesperson Uttarakhand government, said he instructed officials to check whether the state government has signed any contracts with Chinese authorities or companies in the past. “After we find whether there are any contracts and if there are, what sort of contracts we have, we will take a decision on whether to cancel them or not,” he said.

Maharashtra government officials said the Centre will have to formulate a policy on investment from Chinese companies before states can decide.

“As far as foreign direct investment (FDI) is concerned, Chinese investment is allowed in manufacturing, service and real estate sector. If we have to ban them, then the decision has to come from the central government because we need a uniform policy,” said Bhushan Gagrani, principal secretary, appointed as state coordination officer to attract investment in the state.

Officials in several governments such as West Bengal, Odisha and Rajasthan, said no decision was taken to ban Chinese products. “The decision to ban Chinese companies can only be taken by the Centre. Why doesn’t the BJP government snap all trade relations with China? Moreover, no Chinese company has base in West Bengal,” said Dola Sen, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP.

UP and Madhya Pradesh police have issued orders asking their personnel to remove Chinese apps from their phones.

The UP Special Task Force on Friday ordered its staffers to uninstall 52 mobile apps of Chinese origin, pointing that these applications could be used to extract information from their mobile phones and those of their family members.

MP police on Friday issued an order instructing all officials to delete 52 Chinese apps from their mobile phones. However, DIG Harinarayanchari Mishra, in another order, on Saturday clarified that deleting the apps was an advisory and not a mandatory requirement.

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