POWER

Power Off | Power and Solar Energy

On June 22, soon after the conflict in Galwan turned deadly, Union power minister R.K. Singh addressed a meeting of CEOs from the renewable and conventional energy sectors. As Union minister in charge of these two areas, Singh made clear to those gathered that there would now be a strong government focus on cutting Chinese imports out of procurement and supply lines. He meant business — the next day, EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a government power venture) began cancellation proceedings for a contract for two million smart electricity meters from PT Hexing, an Indonesia-based firm believed to be owned by Hexing Electrical of Hangzhou, China. Henceforth, it was announced, all smart meters installed under the Atal Distribution System Improvement Yojana would be made in India. However, based on the same bid, replacing Chinese equipment with Indian made alternatives would increase the cost by about 10 per cent, and even then, some components would come from Japanese factories. This highlights both the reality of global manufacturing and the current limits of the Indian manufacturing sector.

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