Leaders from non-BJP-governed states of Maharashtra, Punjab and West Bengal have joined Telangana in inviting Elon Musk’s Tesla to set up its electric car manufacturing facility in their states after the tech mogul recently tweeted about facing challenges in launching operations in India.
“Maharashtra is one of the most progressive states in India. We will provide you all the necessary help from Maharashtra for you to get established in India. We invite you to establish your manufacturing plant in Maharashtra,” state water resources minister Jayant Patil said on Twitter in response to Musk’s tweet.
Punjab MLA and state Congress committee president Navjot Singh Sidhu also tweeted, “Punjab model will create Ludhiana as a hub for electric vehicles & battery industry with time-bound single-window clearance for investment that brings new technology to Punjab, create green jobs, walking path of environment preservation & sustainable development.”
West Bengal minister-in-charge of minority affairs and Madrasah education Md Ghulam Rabbani, too, replied to Musk’s tweet, saying the state had the best infrastructure and chief minister Mamata Banerjee had “the vision”.
“Bengal means Business,” he tweeted.
The Tesla boss had on Thursday tweeted about the challenges in India, in the latest of numerous such tweets over the past few years.
On Friday night, Telangana industry and commerce minister KT Rama Rao made a pitch to Tesla to set up shop in Telangana.
“Will be happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges to set shop in India/Telangana,” he tweeted. “Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives and a top-notch business destination in India.”
The world’s most valuable car company has pitched for a cut in import duties ahead of its India launch. Tesla said the levies imposed by India are the highest among large countries and that it can only consider setting up a factory locally if it succeeds with imported models.
India charges 60% duty on vehicles with a net CIF (cost, insurance, freight) value of up to $40,000 and 100% duty on vehicles costing more. All of Tesla’s vehicles will be subject to the higher duty, given their pricing. Tesla has sought 40% duty.
Import duties are a central subject and out of the purview of state governments.