The Punjab government will check on the “involvement” of China in an Indian firm selected to deliver smartphones to be given to youths as part of the Congress’ poll promise before taking a final call on whether or not to proceed with it, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday said.
His statement came soon after he asked the central government to return donations by Chinese firms into the PM CARES Fund.
Amarinder said his government has placed an order with an Indian company (LAVA). The firm had informed the government hat 50,000 smartphones were ready and that they wanted to deliver another 50,000 more phones in July.
“We will check what is China’s involvement in this company and to what extent and then make a decision. What is the equity situation (in the company)? Is it Chinese equity or Indian ?” Amarinder said in reply to a specific query during a pres conference here.
Before coming to power in 2017, the state Congress had promised to give free smartphones to youths in the state.
‘Return Chinese firms’ donations to PM-CARES’
Earlier, emphasising the need to adopt a tough line with China, he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return donations received from Chinese companies towards the PM CARES Fund just ahead of conflict at Line of Actual Control.
“I think we must take a tough stand on China. When this confrontation is going on at this time, if any money has been received that should be returned. I don’t think we can afford to take Chinese money when our boys are being killed and Indian territory is being intruded,” he said.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with the Chinese army in Galwan Valley of Ladakh on June 15-16 night.
Amarinder said that the PM CARES Fund, which has been setup with an aim to collect money for fighting Covid-19 pandemic, got contributions to the tune of Rs 7 crore from Huawei. Apart from this, another Chinese company Tik Tok gave Rs 30 crore, Xiaomi Rs 10 crore and Oppo Rs one crore.
He pointed out that the said contributions should be returned forthwith as India was in a position to well manage the Covid crisis on its own.
Expressing anguish over the border incursions, Amarinder said it was distressing that on one hand Chinese were killing our soldiers and on the other contributing funds in PM CARES.
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