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Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, on Wednesday, July 1, said that the Indian government will not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects, including those through joint ventures.
A joint venture is a business entity which is jointly undertaken and owned by two or more parties which shared ownership, shared risks and returns.
The minister also said that the government will prevent Chinese investment in various sectors like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which form the crux of India's manufacturing sector.
"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," said Mr Gadkari told Press Trust of India in an interview.
He added that a policy will be formulated and released banning China-origin firms and relaxing norms for Indian companies to expand their eligibility criteria for participation in highway projects.
Hinting at a mid-way solution for existing tenders involving Chinese companies and for future bids, Gadkari said that 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.
He further said that if a contractor can qualify for small projects, he can also qualify for a large project and revised policies would aid in the process.
"Construction norms are not good so I have asked to change it. We are changing it so that we can encourage Indian companies," the minister said.
"Even if we have to go for foreign joint venture in the areas of technology, consultancy or design, we will not allow Chinese," he added.
Furthermore, Chinese investment will not be entertained even for the up-gradation of technology, research, consultancy and other works
The minister's statements come in the backdrop of the border dispute between India and China in Ladakh's Galway Valley which reported the death of 20 Indian army soldiers.
Amid escalating tensions, the government on Monday, June 29, banned 59 mobile applications vested with Chinese interest, citing threats to national security.
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