India to double work visas for Chinese workers

10:19, December 15, 2009      

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In an attempt to meet the country's burgeoning electricity demand, the Indian government plans to double the number of work visas for skilled Chinese workers, according to a report from Indian website "livemint".

The move follows complaints that a shortage of Chinese workers was stalling the construction of power plants, said the report.

The government is concerned because India could fall some 4,000MW short of the 13,000MW of power generation capacity target for the 2009-2010 period, mainly because of visa problems faced by Chinese workers engaged in electricity projects.

The estimated shortfall is enough to meet the demands of a city the size of Delhi.

The issue was recently discussed at a meeting called by cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar.

The number of work visas will be increased to 40 per electricity generation project, from 20, at the behest of the power ministry, according to the report.

The report also says the decision is also being viewed as an attempt to defuse tension between China and India.

"Around 26,000MW capacity has already been constructed with the help of the Chinese. Given that situation, you will have to find a way how they (Chinese) continue that work. You can't expect them to leave. They will have to bring in their people to implement these projects," said Shubhranshu Patnaik, an executive director at consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

By People's Daily Online
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