Amid the ongoing India-China crisis, the Indian government is mulling several strategies to leverage its growing power sector in response against China.
The plan is to exhort Indian power players to find ways to get out contracts signed with Chinese.
This plan of action was enumerated by Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh at a conference with industry leaders.
Singh, who also heads the new and renewable energy ministry, expressed that “if possible”, Indian companies shall look to explore ways to exit contracts inked with Chinese firms, as power is a critical and sensitive sector.
According to Power Ministry officials, it is imperative to use equipment manufactured in India, as power is a strategic sector.
The strategies discussed at the meeting included ways to erect tariff barriers and other hurdles such as subsidising finance to encourage local power equipment manufacturers, and prior-permission conditions for imports from nations India is in conflict.
The development assumes significance as India’s energy demand is poised to grow from the present per capita of around 1,149 kilowatt-hour (kWh).
This is among the lowest in the world as compared to per capita consumption of 3,600 kWh globally.
The Ministry officials have pointed that any malware attack on power infrastructure can lead to collapse of many other essential services that depend on power supply like communication, manufacturing, health, defence etc.
So far, orders for nearly 48 giga watts (GW) of thermal power generation projects have been placed with Chinese companies.