Cap goods industry for curbs on Chinese firms [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]
(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Kolkata: The onslaught from China is getting too hot to handle for India's electrical equipment industry, which wants the government to altogether restrict China from building generating plants by terming the power sector strategic in nature.
The assessment at Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) is that the government should go beyond minor tinkering with import duties or imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese imports and look at the issue from a strategic point, with an objective to safeguarding the power infrastructure during any outbreak of hostilities.
"If a war happens, (Chinese) engineers will get evacuated, spares will not come and power plants will shut down and we will be left limping. It might be a far-fetched scenario, but when it's an issue of strategic importance as electricity is critical to our existence, we have to factor it in," Sunil Misra, director general, IEEMA, told dna. He suggested the government not allow Chinese equipment makers in the power sector.
Misra didn't elaborate though on what specific steps the association expects the government to take. "There are organs in the government which can address this issue by means and tools they have, and I have great respect for these institutions," is all that Misra said.
IEEMA's worries are not without reasons. The threat perception from hostile forces to the power infrastructure is all the more high as the concept of smart grids -- use of more software and electronics in power distribution -- catches on.
Measures to protect the industry are losing their bite, more so when several power projects have stalled. The power sector registered a healthy growth of 12.9% in September and the figure for April-September is 5.9% compared with 4.6% last year. But that's half the story as the industry still suffers from 25% idle capacity, Misra claimed. "China's share in Indian imports of electrical equipment has dramatically increased in the last few years and now it stands at 44.92% (2012-13) of the total from 15.26% in 2005-06," a document by IEEMA read.
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