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No Chinese companies in road construction or MSME sector says Mr Nitin Gadkari after having taken up the cause of Chinese goods held up in Indian ports

India will not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects, including those through joint ventures, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said amid border standoff with China.Gadakri also said the government will ensure that Chinese investors are not entertained in the MSME sector as well..

The Senior minister's assertions assumes significance after he faced the wrath of his own party men for having taken up the cause of Chinese goods being delayed at Indian ports due to detailed clearance process adopted by the customs. Mr Gadkari had written to his cabinet colleague and finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman to intervene and clear the Chinese goods as this would affect the domestic industry.

"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," Gadkari  said in an interview to a news agency.

Policy will be out soon banning Chinese firms and relaxing norms for Indian companies for participation in highway projects

The Minister said a policy will be out soon banning Chinese firms and relaxing norms for Indian companies to expand their eligibility criteria for participation in highway projects. Currently only a few projects which were undertaken much earlier involve some Chinese partners. The new decision will be implemented in current and future tenders.

With regard to existing tenders where the chinese companies had won the bids, Gadkari said rebidding would be done if there are any Chinese joint ventures.

We have taken a decision to relax norms for domestic 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.

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

Chinese investors would not be allowed

About the MSME sector, Gadkari said the effort is to enhance the capacity of local production but at the same time foreign investment is being promoted. He however made it clear that despite decision to encourage foreign investment, Chinese investors would not be allowed.

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.

The imports from China will be discouraged

The imports from China will be discouraged and the country will take large strides towards self-reliance," the Minister said and added that he is among the strongest proponents of 'self reliance.

Gadkari said that he had only urged departments concerned(Customs) to expedite clearance of consignments which were booked two to three months in advance before the situation took its present shape.

After a representation from a farmers and traders' body that imported agriculture equipment consignments were delayed at ports, Gadkari in a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal had sought early clearance of the said consignments.

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