New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Tuesday asked the central government to explain why some Chinese construction companies had been 'blacklisted' in the country on security grounds.
'We would like to know why the Chinese construction companies are not allowed to take over projects in the country when other foreign companies are allowed,' CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat said.
He was referring to the central government's refusal to give the security clearance to Kerala's Vizhinjam port project, for which a consortium of two Chinese and a Mumbai-based firm had been selected through tenders.
'The party central committee decided to take up the matter with the prime minister,' Karat said.
The central committee, the party's apex decision-making body, Tuesday concluded its three-day meeting for a mid-term review of the party congress decisions.
V.S. Achuthanandan, chief minister of the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala, recently led an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to review the central government's decision to deny clearance to the Rs.43.60 billion ($950 million) port project.
Karat said: 'The tenders had been cleared, the prime minister was expected to lay the foundation stone and the work was about to begin. But, suddenly they found Chinese companies could not given the security clearance.'
'Are the US companies, which have projects in Pakistan, disallowed to take up port projects in India?' Karat asked referring to reports that the security clearance was denied as the Chinese firms, Kaidi Electric Power Company and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), had projects in Pakistan too.
Karat pointed out that the Chinese firms had been denied permission to take up projects in India earlier too.
'We do not agree with the decision not to give security clearance to the companies because they are from China,' Karat later told IANS.