Minister Says No Power Sector Imports From China, Talks Of "Trojan Horse"

"We have decided that we will not allow any imports from Prior Reference countries China and Pakistan," Union Minister RK Singh said.

Minister Says No Power Sector Imports From China, Talks Of 'Trojan Horse'

Union Minister RK Singh's statement on power equipment comes amid the standoff with China.

Highlights

  • Union Minister RK Singh made the remarks amid the standoff with China
  • On Monday night, the government banned 59 apps, mostly Chinese
  • This comes after weeks of simmering tension at Line of Actual Control
New Delhi:

India will not allow the import of power supply equipment from China without permission from the government, Union Minister RK Singh said today amid the standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, adding that such an import may be used as a "Trojan horse" that can be potentially used to trigger a power grid shutdown in the country.

According to an order by the Union Power Ministry, Indian companies will need government permission to import all power supply equipment and components from China or any other country, which the government will inspect "to check for any kind of embedded malware/trojans/cyber threat and for adherence to Indian Standards".

"All such testings shall be done in certified laboratories that will be designated by the Ministry of Power," the order said. 

"The total import in the power sector in 2018-19 was Rs. 71,000 crore of which Rs. 21,000 crore was from China. We cannot tolerate this. A country which tries to transgress into our territory, kills our soldiers and we create jobs in that country?" Mr Singh said in the state energy ministers conference chaired by him this morning in his opening remarks.

"We have decided that we will not allow any imports from Prior Reference countries China and Pakistan. There could be malware or Trojan horse in those (including imports from China) which they can activate remotely (to cripple our power systems)... We will not allow you (states) to import anything from China and Pakistan," the Union Minister added.

The minister further said that it is a pity that tower elements, conductors, transformers and parts of meters are imported, which are manufactured and available in India."Your discoms order equipment from Chinese companies. We request you not to order from Chinese companies." He stressed that under the Atamnirbhar Bharat mission,  India will not import any equipment from China which is available here and will go for inspection of imported equipment.

On Wednesday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that India will not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects and that the government will ensure that Chinese investors are not entertained in various sectors like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

India has in the recent days taken steps to impose stringent quality control measures and higher tariffs on goods from China as it looks to boost domestic manufacturing to cut reliance on imports.

On Monday night, the government banned 59, mostly Chinese, mobile apps including Bytedance's TikTok and Tencent's WeChat, citing its need to protect India's "sovereignty and integrity." 

After weeks of simmering tension at the Line of Actual Control or the de-facto border with China, 20 soldiers including a Colonel were killed in action in the June 15 brawl with Chinese troops at the Galwan river valley. Army sources say the Chinese suffered 45 casualties.

(With inputs from PTI and Reuters)