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despite picking china for ev plant gadkari says

Despite picking China for EV plant, Gadkari

says Tesla welcome in India

India is still open to Tesla Inc. setting up operations in the country, even though

the electric-car maker chose China for its first car assembly plant overseas.

“If they are coming, if they are ready to come, we will welcome. We are ready to

offer them land and all type of help,” Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in an

interview. “Presently Tesla doesn’t have any proposal to come to India,” he said.

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla declined to comment.

Tesla, which last year said it was working with the Shanghai government on an

assembly plant in Shanghai, had held months of public and private discussions

with India before opting for the Chinese site. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk

had discussions with Indian officials -- some of them in public Twitter posts --

about the nation’s policies on manufacturing and import of electric vehicles.

Modi’s Plan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told the World Economic Forum in

Davos that India is removing red tape and laying out the red carpet for global

investors.

more than 1 400 archaic laws that were

“More than 1,400 archaic laws that were an obstacle to doing business” have

been abolished in the last three years, he said.

Modi is spearheading efforts to attract foreign investment to kick start growth in

India’s $2.3 trillion economy, which is forecast to expand at the slowest pace

since 2014 this year.

Responding to a question of whether India lost out on an opportunity with Tesla,

Gadkari said it was a decision for the company to make. “I requested them, I met

them in America, but their first point was China at that time,” he said on Tuesday

in New Delhi.

Musk Discussions

Musk said in June his company was in discussions with the government of India

requesting temporary relief on import penalties or restrictions until a local factory

is built. In May, Musk flagged concerns about the country’s local sourcing norms,

before the government clarified some of them in a tweet.

Modi’s Make in India campaign envisages creating the world’s next manufacturing

hub by encouraging domestic and foreign companies to set up factories locally.

Tesla’s expansion also comes as India pursues Modi’s ambition for all new car

sales to be electric models by 2030 as part of a plan to combat climate change.

That target is being seen by carmakers as a tough one to achieve because of lack

of charging infrastructure and limited manufacturing capabilities of local

companies.

Gadkari said he sees this scenario changing rapidly. A change in the tax structure

for electric and alternative fuel vehicles will lead to a shift to environment-friendly

cars, he said.

“I feel we don’t need any deadline,” Gadkari said. “In two years, you will see the

miracle.”

Article By - Business Standard