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India put restrictions on traders from nations sharing border

July 24, 2020 09:20 AM

New Delhi , July 23, 2020

India has put restrictions on traders from nations sharing border on grounds of defence and national security. The move is expected to affect Chinese firms and is in line with the economic retaliation following the June 15 clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh that ended in fatalities. There have been reports that the Chinese troops are yet to move out of some parts in Ladakh despite an agreement that both sides would go to their permanent locations to defuse tension in the area.

A statement from the government said bidders from a nation sharing land border with India will be eligible to bid in any procurement "only if they are registered with the Competent Authority".

"The Competent Authority for registration will be the Registration Committee constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Political and security clearance from the Ministries of External and Home Affairs respectively will be mandatory, " the statement read.

The order will apply to any procurement -- goods or services (including consultancy services and non-consultancy services) or works (including turnkey projects), the government said.

Exceptions have made in limited cases -- including procurement of medical supplies for containment of COVID-19 global pandemic till December 31.

"By a separate Order, countries to which Government of India extends lines of credit or provides development assistance have been exempted from the requirement of prior registration, " the government said.

Following the June 15 clash at Ladakh's Galwan Valley, in which 20 soldiers died in the line of duty, a call to boycott Chinese goods by the all-India traders' body -- the Confederation of All India Traders or CAIT.

Soon after, the government made the mention of the "Country of Origin" mandatory for sellers listing their products in the Government e-Marketplace. Late in June, the government blocked a series of apps with Chinese links that included the hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser.

Earlier this month, China and India started the disengagement process, pulling back troops from the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border between the two nations.

China has not pulled back troops from all areas where it had intruded into Ladakh near the Line of Actual Control in May. Chinese troops are still present in the Depsang Plains region, Gogra and the Fingers region along the Pangong Lake where India and China had started a mutual disengagement by creating a buffer zone between both sides.

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