Power minister hints at barring China from investing in India

DH News Service, New Delhi, May 24 2017, 00:25 IST
Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal. DH File Photo
In an oblique reference to China, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said he will not allow any company from a country that does not permit an Indian firm to do business there to come to India.

"If any transmission company of India, like the power grid, cannot bid, cannot invest, cannot set up transmission lines in any other country, then I will not allow any company of that country to come to India,” he said.

Though the minister did not name any country, his comments follow media reports that India may soon bar Chinese power companies from projects in the power sector, as China does not approve of foreign investment in electricity grids on security grounds.

India allows 100% foreign direct investment in this business. "There should be reciprocity. Is India a punching bag that if you want, you come, invest and earn? But Indian companies cannot go and earn in your country. We believe in reciprocity and it is also a display of our strength,” the minister told reporters here.

"There is no intention to bar any particular country. We don’t have a problem with anybody. But I think India should work with reciprocity with every country,” he said.

App launched

The minister launched a mobile app Saral Eindhan Vitaran App (SEVA) developed in-house by Coal India Limited for power consumers.

SEVA is part of the Digital India initiative, which is aimed at increasing the consumer connect, as well as transparency and accountability in coal dispatches.

To a question on commercial mining of coal blocks, Goyal said an inter-ministerial panel will meet this week to deliberate on the modalities with regard to policy on auction of mines to private sector for commercial mining.