India to have 'non-discriminatory' policy on telecom imports: Menon

The announcement comes amid concerns of Chinese vendors whose products were put on hold due to security reasons.

"We are in the process of putting in place a new system, which will apply to everybody. It is not China related issue," Prime Minister's special envoy Shivshankar Menon said in his briefing to the Indian media before leaving for home today after four-days of talks with the Chinese leadership here.

Chinese leaders raised the issue of curbs on the use of Chinese telecom equipment in India during talks with Menon.

"Yes, the telecom issue was also mentioned," Menon said.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is in the process of holding consultations with various players in the Telecom sector and it would be in place soon, he said.

Asked about India's security concerns and the allegation that Chinese equipment contained spy and malaware, he said, "I don't think it is relating to single nationality. Frankly, any equipment can be used by anyone for anything," which is why an open and non-discriminatory system is being brought about to address all the issues.

Chinese companies have already supplied over USD 800 million worth of telecom equipment to various Indian service providers. The government, however, put a hold on them after reports that they contained spyware.

Chinese companies like Huawei have alleged that the security concerns are a smear campaign launched by its western rivals, whose equipment is 30 per cent costlier compared to Chinese.

China has expressed its concern in this regard and asked India not to discriminate against its telecom equipment companies in the name of security issues.

Asked about the increasing trade relations between India and China, Menon said the bilateral trade is on course to meet the USD 60 billion target set by the two countries for this year.

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