Govt to open doors to China
A special meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary about a fortnight ago is believed to have delved into the issue of participation of foreign companies in key and sensitive areas of the Indian economy, especially infrastructure.india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 02:41 IST
A special meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary about a fortnight ago is believed to have delved into the issue of participation of foreign companies in key and sensitive areas of the Indian economy, especially infrastructure.
The meeting was attended by secretary-level officials from the economic ministries, external affairs as well as the heads of the intelligence agencies among others. The deliberations saw a view take shape that no company could be stopped from investing in India, just because it is Chinese in origin.Sources in the know told the Hindustan Times that unless the intelligence agencies give concrete information against a particular company, no company would be blocked from investing in India or participating in business contracts or government tenders.
Seen in the context of the long-pending Huawei Telecom investment proposal, this will mean that there would be greater clarity on such matters. In fact, sources said that the Ministry of External Affairs was of the view that India could not stop foreign investments just because a company was from China.
It is also learnt that the Cabinet Secretary outlined the need for a policy framework that clearly defines the areas where India sees high security concerns and consequently will bar participation from companies that have dubious antecedents or are linked with unfriendly powers. It is now expected that some sort of policy will be defined on this front.
In fact, it is believed that both the IB and the RAW have checked out a couple of Chinese firms and their India plans. However, this may not go a long way in clearing doubts among some sections about the wisdom of letting even professionally-run Chinese (or Pakistani) firms participate in vital projects.
Sources added while case by case approval approach would continue, there was likelihood of a ‘verbal pact’ on discouraging some foreign companies from bagging projects linked directly to national security, communication and sensitive infrastructure. It may be recalled that a few days ago, a senior adviser to the Prime Minister had said that India would welcome Chinese involvement in infrastructure development, though no specific companies or proposals were mentioned. Reports had added that Hutchison Ports Holdings and Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine had been greenlighted as bidders to develop the Mumbai offshore container port.
First Published: Jan 09, 2006 02:41 IST