POWER

Centre plans to co-opt states in tightening screws on Chinese equipment imports

Discouraging states from using Chinese equipment and technology in the power sector is a key agenda point for Friday’ states power and renewable energy ministers conference, said two people aware of the development.

With power being on the concurrent list of the Constitution, the Centre wants states to be a part of its playbook in initiating tariff and non-tariff barriers, as part of a broad economic response to Chinese aggression in Ladakh.

The conference will also take up draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the 90,000 crore liquidity infusion in stressed power distribution companies (discoms), and the 3.5 trillion proposed distribution reform scheme, tentatively named Samarth, due to end on 31 March, 2026, for discussions.

An Indian power ministry spokesperson confirmed the development.India’s economic strategy against China includes subsidising finance for promoting local power equipment usage and prior-permission requirements for imports from countries with which it has a conflict. The other measures in the works include support to startups, phased manufacturing programme, vendor development, research and development and levying of taxes.

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