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      New Delhi: A Ministry of Defence (MoD) ‘approval’ issued Wednesday for involving the private sector in manufacturing ammunition has created confusion..Govt release credits minister Sitharaman for promoting Make in India in defence sector; ministry sources say this could be because ‘final version’ has now been approved.Asked why the press release was claiming this as a new development, when it has been in the pipeline at least since March, sources in the MoD said the reason was that a ‘final version’ of the tenders had been approved by the minister. Bidding dates for the tender have been extended at least six times, with the latest being another extension until 11 January 2018. In case, the variations are huge, the original tenders can be withdrawn and fresh ones issued.The tenders that have been issued include lakhs of rounds of 30 mm HET, BMCS 125 mm FSAPDS, 122 mm HE ER Rocket, 40 mm MGL & UBGL, 23 mm HEI/APIT, 30 mm VOG, and electrical fuzes for artillery.However, the dates for submission of bids have since been extended repeatedly, as vendors have faced multiple problems, including the large amount of earnest money demanded, as well as bank guarantees required for the 10-year supply project.ThePrint’s YouTube channel is now active and buzzing.A government press release said that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had taken “another step in the direction of Make in India in the defence sector”, to “facilitate development of indigenous capacity”, by approving the manufacture of eight types of ammunition by private industry. Sources said it is perhaps these amendments that have now been cleared by the ministry, and could be added as a corrigendum to the existing tenders. Tenders for all eight types were issued in March.The tender has also been mired in controversy, given that foreign firms blacklisted in India for corruption charges have been allowed a backdoor entry – they can be ‘technology partners’ with Indian companies. Please subscribehere. This is because the project had already been cleared in January this year and the tendering process has reached an advanced stage, including several extensions to bidding dates which have frustrated potential vendors. The release said the minister approved “a long term contract of 10 years with the selected ammunition manufacturer, to facilitate a viable commercial model”, and that the selection would be done through an Pex-Al-Pex Pipes Wholesalers open tender, two-bid process.Timeline of the planAccording to government officials, the plan to involve the private sector in manufacturing the eight types of ammunition was cleared by previous defence minister Manohar Parrikar in late 2016, with final approvals coming in January this year.Manu Pubby/ThePrintHowever, official Indian Army documentation shows that tenders for these eight types of ammunition had already been issued in March this year, with complete details of the project shared with potential vendors.Manu Pubby/ThePrintIndustry representatives have asked for several amendments to the tenders that would allow them to participate

      “China is trying to influence political events in Myanmar in many ways,” Soe Win said in an interview. Please subscribehere.“China needs some sort of access or staging facilities in several different places in the Indian Ocean,” said David Brewster, a senior fellow at Australia’s National Security College and an expert on India-China maritime security. “I thought all the people coming to work here might need to buy things.Much of the development, and a jump in land prices, are anticipating a gigantic prize for this remote Myanmar town of 50,000 people: $10 billion to build a deep-sea port and industrial zone, financed by China. The Chinese company would run the zone for up to 75 years and would finance Myanmar’s stake. “Only based on the success of the first phase, we will do another phase. “We don’t know exactly what the impact will be, but we’re all hoping that it will bring jobs. and Europe over the treatment of the Rohingya minority has left it with few allies among developed nations.28 billion economic zone at Thilawa port, south of Yangon. Fine-dining rooftop restaurants and a golf course underline the sense of transition.”Shop owner Saw Maung Nu is one of many local residents who are anticipating a windfall.5Shares. “That, in combination with other current and future projects in Myanmar, could in the coming years lead to a debt trap. “The Chinese have quite a lot going on down here.”Some senior government officials are concerned that a nation with a smaller economy than the Dominican Republic may struggle to service and repay the billions of dollars Myanmar would need to borrow for the project. The Chinese company would run the zone for up to 75 years and would finance Myanmar’s stake.“The real danger of the port is that its extreme expense could lead the Myanmar government to take out an unsustainable level of debt,” said Greg Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.”He said land prices have risen from $20,000 an acre to $50,000 an acre and he’s hoping the government will pay the market rate to buy him out. He declined to give details of the proposed loan. The Thilawa development has raised further questions about Myanmar’s need for such a large facility in Kyaukpyu (pronounced CHOW-pew) or whether it would simply be a conduit for China, run by Chinese companies.Even without the potential military benefits of Kyaukpyu, the port’s commercial advantages make it a key part of China’s maritime Belt and Road strategy.”Those concerns have stalled development since the previous military government Screwing Fittings Suppliers chose China’s CITIC Group to build the port three years ago.”Lessons for Leaders Eying China’s Belt-and-Road BillionsToe Aung Myint, permanent secretary of the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce, which oversees the project management committee, rejects the suggestion that the port would entail too much debt, saying construction would happen in stages.Kyaukpyu, 400 kilometers (250 miles) north-west of the capital, Yangon, is in Rakhine state, where more than 600,000 Rohingya have been driven from their homes into neighboring Bangladesh since last August, in what the United Nations’ top human rights official has called “ethnic cleansing. “But what we are afraid of is that we will end up like Sri Lanka. “Myanmar would be a good place to have a naval base.”Pipeline LinksThe town already has oil and gas loading terminals, built since 2013, that feed pipelines transporting the fuel directly to Yunnan province in Western China.” While most of the clashes happened further north, the conflict rattled investors, prompting China to send a group of diplomats to Rakhine in December. A rail link is planned to connect the container port.9 million containers, more than the current throughput of Brazil’s biggest container terminal, as well as loading oil for the pipeline.“The amount of interest is quite substantial, and not like the loans we got from the Japanese government — the loans from China are much more expensive,” said Soe Win, a member of the ruling National League for Democracy’s central economic committee and a candidate to become Myanmar’s next central bank governor.“Myanmar and Sri Lanka are not the same,” Aung Myint said in an interview.”CITIC directed questions regarding the port to the Myanmar government.In the seaside market, stalls of seafood unloaded from wooden fishing boats floating in the rubbish-strewn harbor have been joined by stacks of Chinese-made toys and smartphones. Located on the eastern edge of the Bay of Bengal, the town is almost directly opposite INS Varsha, where the Indian navy will base its new fleet of nuclear submarines.Soe Win isn’t the only one worried about the long-term plans for Kyaukpyu. In 2008, a joint venture with China began building a deep-water port at Hambantota. With the rail link, it would give exporters in Yunnan a short-cut to the Indian Ocean, bypassing the disputed waters in the South China Sea and the congested Straits of Malacca. The political outrage sparked in the U. Nearby, cattle graze between building sites as high-rise offices and hotels replace weather-stained bungalows.The town of Kyaukpyu, nestled around a small fishing port on the Bay of Bengal, has the air of a place expecting to get rich soon. “We will be happy if they use their Kyaukpyu port as a commercial port.A Myanmar government official familiar with China’s plans for Kyaukpyu said military attaches from the U. “If we have a deep sea port, but it’s not controlled by Myanmar, that’s a problem.S. But if they would like to turn it into a kind of military base, then we’ll be very, very sad.”Myanmar’s government may have little alternative to a Chinese loan if it wants to build the port.“Yunnan is very important for them, it’s landlocked,” said Soe Win.S.CITIC, China’s first state-owned investment corporation, has proposed taking a 70 percent stake in the project, with the remainder split between the Myanmar government and a consortium of local firms.CITIC says the terminal would have an annual capacity for 4.”One major concern for some members of the government is what happened in Sri Lanka. CITIC, China’s first state-owned investment corporation, has proposed taking a 70 percent stake in the project, with the remainder split between the Myanmar government and a consortium of local firms. “We are unable to disclose information regarding the negotiation to the public,” Zhang Yue, the head of CITIC Myanmar, said in an email.“Is this deep-sea port being made to benefit Myanmar?” said Ken Tun, founder and chief executive of Myanmar’s Parami Energy, the only local firm to be shortlisted for the development.The Japan International Cooperation Agency is helping finance a $3.“Kyaukpyu is definitely growing,” Yan Myo Aung, 54, chairman of Kyaukpyu branch of the Arakan National Party, whose family operates a number of local retail businesses.“We keep hearing it will be built since 2015, but nothing has happened so far,” said Shwe Shwe Maung, 34, the head of KaBalan, a village of 460 households in the area marked for the economic zone., Australia and countries in Southeast Asia have all expressed concern that China wants to build a port that has strategic as well as economic advantages. The investment plan — seven times the cost of Chinese-built ports in Sri lanka and Cameroon — has put Kyaukpyu at the center of a debate in Myanmar and across Asia as to who really benefits from China’s grand Belt and Road strategy. When Sri Lanka couldn’t repay the loan for the project, it ended up ceding the port to China for 99 years last year in exchange for debt relief.“I built this house and shop here two years ago because of the development,” said Saw, 58, a father of eight, in Thaing Shaung, a smattering of houses outside Kyaukpyu in the center of the proposed industrial zone. “We hope that the Special Economic Zone will add to that.” –BloombergThePrint’s YouTube channel is now active and buzzing.“They wanted to learn more about the security of their investments,”said Aung Dung, 71, chairman of the Kyaukpyu branch of the NLD, who met the delegation

      Canberra changed its laws last year after it discovered that generous local Chinese donors to political parties were linked to the Chinese government. Even Pakistan, the all-weather friend, has seen domestic criticism of the terms of some of the contracts (most of the terms remain secret). For many years Beijing had got away with combining technology theft with a mercantilist trade and currency policy, following it up with a new assertiveness in foreign policy. Earlier, the US blocked the sale of Huawei phones and stopped ZTE from using US-made components in its phones. Malaysia, after a change of government, has cancelled a railway line and a gas pipeline, and called a halt to a township to be built on three artificial islands; the project was being marketed to wealthy Chinese.Its long record of stealing technology from western companies is now resulting in defensive action by some countries.Meanwhile, the Belt and Road business is either taking a toll on, or coming unstuck in, country after country. Germany has begun blocking Chinese buying high-end engineering companies, joining the US and Canada in similar drives. In Australia there is a noticeable cooling off in the government and media when it comes to attitudes to China. Sri Lanka being forced to cede a port for 99 years, and give China a chunk of its Colombo sea front, is well known. Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has suggested a Europe-wide move on the issue. After Chinese fishing vessels showed up in Indonesian waters, causing several face-offs, Jakarta warmed to New Delhi and signed up to give Indian naval ships access to Sabang port near the Malacca Straits.Are Chinese expansionism and aggressiveness, noticeably ramped up in recent years, beginning to cost the country? So it would China Brass Ball Valves Series Manufacturers seem. Hence Canberra’s active policy of wooing students from India, as a balancing factor. That period as a free-rider has ended with Donald Trump’s frontal tariff assault on Chinese exports to the US. Indeed, the prospect of a US slowdown, perhaps even a recession down the road as interest rates climb, may well end up blunting Trump’s offensive. Australia recently barred two Chinese companies, Huawei and ZTE, from providing the technology for 5G communications networks, citing security. Beijing may yet have the last laugh. Re-negotiating contracts now may stoke further disputes and prove to be costly, because Beijing has so far insisted on the letter of the contract when it comes to cancellation.Some countries in the region are re-visiting their basic stance towards Beijing. Businessmen in most countries fear losses in the Chinese market if their governments become hostile to Beijing. Its long record of stealing technology from western companies and hacking into secure networks, combined with the suspicion that there are bugs hidden in Chinese telecom software, is now resulting in defensive action by some countries. Far from being a mark of triumphant expansionism across Asia, the Belt and Road Initiative has become a source of discord. A fourth country that has seen a change of government, the Maldives, could well see something similar happen there.Also read: As US and China battle it out, India stands to gainIt is telling that re-assessments of Belt and Road projects follow changes of government — which Beijing can’t control. Please subscribehere.39Shares.Meanwhile, China faces a blowback on the technology front. The US too will hurt as American consumers pay higher prices, but some producing units may move out of China. The larger issue in countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and some in Africa is how much local political elites were compromised when signing on to dodgy or unviable projects. There is worry that at least some Australian universities have become so dependent on Chinese students that they would not be viable without them.Also read: India may raise duties on aluminium imports as US-China trade war sparks dumping fearMeanwhile, Trump’s tariffs will hurt the US as much as China. Under its new government, the country is pruning the number of projects and possibly seeking to re-negotiate some of them. The yuan this year has fallen more than many Asian currencies. But it can engineer political changes that nullify election results, as the latest developments in Sri Lanka suggest. Western governments are wary of Chinese ambitions for leadership in the fourth industrial revolution.ThePrint’s YouTube channel is now active and buzzing

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