Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said he “will not allow” any company to come to India from a country that does not permit an Indian firm to do business there — a warning seen to be targetted at China. “Reciprocity should be there. Is India a punching bag that if you want then you can come and invest in India and earn and Indian companies cannot come and earn in your country. We believe in reciprocity and it is also a display of our strength,” the minister said.
While Goyal did not name any country, the comments follow media reports that India may soon bar Chinese power companies from projects in the power sector, as China does not approve foreign investment in electricity grids on security grounds. India allows 100 per cent FDI in this business.
Speaking to reporters at an event here, Goyal said, “There is no intention to bar any particular country. We don’t have problem with any country. But I think India should work with reciprocity with every country.”
He further said, “If any transmission company of India like Power Grid cannot bid in any other country, cannot invest in any other country, cannot set up transmission lines in any other country then I will not allow any company of that country to come to India.”
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He was speaking after the launch of mobile app ‘Saral Eindhan Vitaran App (SEVA)’ developed in-house by Coal India Limited (CIL) for power sector consumers. SEVA is a part of ‘Digital India’ initiative, which is aimed at increasing the consumer connect as well as transparency and accountability in coal dispatches.
Asserting that cyber attack was a serious problem in the entire work, the minister said that there was no 100 per cent solution on this across the globe. “We continuously upgrade the systems in grid transmission. We also monitor. But this is a great problem in the entire world. This is grave problem. Our scientists, engineers keeping a vigil on this,” Goyal said.
Repyling to another question, the minister said that 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. “Inter-ministerial committee will meet on May 25 to take this further (commercial coal policy),” the minister said.