Power Gear Import Restrictions Announced, China and Pakistan on Radar?

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  • China accounted for nearly 30 per cent of total imports in the electrical equipment segment in FY 2019
  • R.K. Singh mentioned about country’s import bill for power equipment as around Rs 71,000 crore in the year 2018-19

Power gear imported into India has been put into mandatory testing regime by the government of India. The ministry of power noted that all equipment, components, and parts imported for use in power supply systems and networks shall be tested in the country to check for any kind of embedded malware, Trojans, or cyber threat, and for adherence to Indian standards.

“Power Supply System is a sensitive and critical infrastructure that supports not only our national defence, vital emergency services including health, disaster response, critical national infrastructure including classified data & communication services, defence installations and manufacturing establishments, logistics services but also the entire economy and the day-today life of the citizens of the country, read an official note issued by the ministry.

It continued, “Any danger or threat to Power Supply system can have catastrophic effects and has the potential to cripple the entire country. Therefore, the Power Sector is a strategic and critical sector.”

Cyber attacks through malware / Trojans

The ministry further informed that the vulnerabilities in the ‘Power Supply System & Network’ mainly arise out of the possibilities of cyber attacks through malware / Trojans etc. embedded in imported equipment. In order to protect the country from the same, the order was issued. All the testings are mandated to take place at the certified laboratories that are designated by the ministry.

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“Any import of equipment, components/parts from “prior reference” countries as specified or by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or the directions of these “prior reference” countries will require prior permission of the Government of lndia,” read the official order.

It continued, “Where the equipment, components/parts are imported from “prior reference” countries, with special permission, the protocol for testing in certified and designated laboratories shall be approved by the Ministry of Power (MoP).”

R.K. Singh, the Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy, said, “We cannot tolerate a country that transgresses into our territory. We create jobs in that country when we have the ability to manufacture it (equipment) ourselves. We have decided not to buy from prior-reference countries. Any equipment imported will need permission. And we will not give permission for equipment from China and Pakistan.”

Our country’s import bill for power equipment was around Rs 71,000 crore in the year 2018-19 even when we have manufacturing facility & ability for various requirements of the Power Sector, which includes import of over Rs. 20,000 crore from China.

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