BSNL overlooking go-local policy in awarding contracts:
Tejas Networks complains to National Security Council
காண்ட்ராக்ட்கள் வழங்குவதில் உள்ளூர் கம்பெனிகளுக்கே முன்னுரிமை வழங்க வேண்டுமென்ற மத்திய அரசின் கொள்கையை – தேசிய பாதுகாப்பு கவுன்சிலின் உத்தரவை – BSNL மதிப்பதில்லை என்று பெங்களூரைச் சேர்ந்த தேஜாஸ் என்ற கம்பெனி புகார்.
Chinese firms in - as tender norms keep - Indian players out
சைனாக் கம்பெனிகள் உள்ளே – இந்தியக் கம்பெனிகள் வெளியே
New Delhi, January 24: News in Business Line Dated 25-01-2014
The battle between the crouching tiger and hidden dragon is playing out for real in the telecom space. Indian telecom equipment makers, citing security reasons, are up in arms against Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for allowing Chinese companies to bid for its contracts.
Bangalore-based telecom gear-maker Tejas Networks has written to the National Security Advisor and the National Security Council, saying that even though the Government has notified the go-local policy, BSNL is not giving preference to Indian manufacturers.
The company, which manufactures optical networking and switching equipment, has complained that despite security concerns BSNL has adopted restrictive tender conditions that make it impossible for any Indian player to bid for the contract. BSNL had floated a tender for buying equipment for rolling out optical-fibre-based communication network for the Defence forces.
This is not the first time that Indian vendors have raised the security issue against Chinese firms such as Huawei and ZTE. But, according to BSNL sources, business rivalry, more than security concerns, is the primary reason for the spat between Indian and Chinese players.
Government contracts are usually awarded to the company quoting the lowest price. While European and American manufacturers stay away from under-cutting prices, Chinese companies are known to be aggressive bidders as they are backed by Chinese banks.
But there is a section of the Indian establishment that sees merit in the security angle. The National Security Council, for example, had strongly backed the go-local policy even for contracts by private players. Though the official reason given for supporting such a policy was to encourage investments in India, security concerns from the Chinese vendors was the unsaid motivation.
In denial mode
The Chinese companies, on the other hand, have played victim, saying they are being blamed without any proof. Both Huawei and ZTE have repeatedly denied any links with the Chinese Army or snooping activities.
John Suffolk, Global Cyber Security Officer, Huawei, had, in an interview to Business Line, said, “We are a Chinese company and, therefore, we have to conform to Chinese laws. But can the Chinese Government come to us and whisper that we need you to do this? Would the Indian Government be doing the same with Indian companies?
“So let’s not assume here. We have built processes that address network security issues around our products. We are open for verification by an independent agency.”