Project woes: SOP likely for Chinese work visas – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Amid repeated concerns from companies, the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) is working on a standard operating procedure (SOP) to allow select Chinese nationals working for European, American, Japanese, and other non-China multinational corporations to enter India with relative ease.
Companies in several sectors, especially those not part of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, have found it difficult to get Chinese nationals to install machinery, making it tough to diversify their production as part of the “China plus 1” strategy.Often industry players have struggled to spell out urgent reasons to get Chinese workers to execute projects in India. Sources told TOI that even in the case of PLI visas, there have been instances of delay, which are sought to be addressed.

DPIIT is in talks with other ministries, such as communications, IT, home and external affairs, as well as industry players to ensure that investment is not hampered by curbs that came up after the tension in Ladakh escalated a few years ago. A final call on putting in place a revised mechanism will be taken at the political level.
“There have been instances where certain MNCs are shifting their machinery and R&D from China to India as part of a production and business diversification strategy. Delays in visa approvals for the Chinese personnel, however, hurt such movement, and delay, or even stall, plans,” sources said. Some Indian companies have also petitioned govt for help.
There have been many industries where the slow pace of visa approval has resulted in delays in start of production, leaving companies frustrated. There are several instances of machinery in high potential sectors, such as textiles and leather, lying idle for months as Chinese vendors insist that only their personnel will switch them on but have found it tough to get visas.
“In several cases, there is some hesitation in granting visas to Chinese nationals since there have been instances where some of them have been found to be engaging in illegal activities and against their visa conditions. While this certainly cannot be generalised, officials have usually refrained to show leniency. Govt may provide some exemptions, but it will be based on a certain SOP,” a source familiar with the deliberations told TOI.

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