India toughens public procurement rules for bidders from bordering nations, seen aimed at China

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Thursday said bidders from bordering countries eyeing government contracts would need prior registration and security clearances, a move seen as New Delhi's latest effort to counter China following a border clash between the two nations. The Indian government's statement said the decision was taken to 'strengthen the defence of India and national security'. India shares borders with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan, but the government statement did not name any specific country.

Reuters July 24, 2020 01:05:21 IST
India toughens public procurement rules for bidders from bordering nations, seen aimed at China

India toughens public procurement rules for bidders from bordering nations seen aimed at China

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Thursday said bidders from bordering countries eyeing government contracts would need prior registration and security clearances, a move seen as New Delhi's latest effort to counter China following a border clash between the two nations.

The Indian government's statement said the decision was taken to "strengthen the defence of India and national security". India shares borders with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan, but the government statement did not name any specific country.

"Any bidder from such countries sharing a land border with India will be eligible to bid in any procurement whether of goods, services ... only if the bidder is registered with the competent Authority," the government statement said.

"Political and security clearance from the Ministries of External and Home Affairs respectively will be mandatory."

The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

The announcement comes after India in April issued a similar directive on screening incoming foreign investment from neighbouring countries with which it shares a land border.

India did not name China in that order, but the move irked Chinese businesses which have major interests in India. Beijing called the policy discriminatory.

Chinese firms have faced hostility since a border clash that killed 20 Indian soldiers in June. India has also banned 59 apps of Chinese origin, including ByteDance's TikTok and Alibaba's UC Browser citing security concerns.

In Thursday's late night order, the Indian government said the restrictions would apply to tenders issued by several entities including public sector banks, financial institutions and government enterprises.

"This was expected because public procurement is the strongest lever that Indian government can use to send a strong signal to China," said Santosh Pai, a partner at Indian law firm Link Legal that advises several Chinese companies.

Procurement of medical supplies for containment of COVID-19 global pandemic until Dec. 31, 2020, will be exempted from the new rules, the government said.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Aditya Kalra; Editing by Chris Reese and Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.