Telangana minister KT Rama Rao has invited Tesla Inc’s chief executive Elon Musk to set shop in his state and said that his government will be “happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges” it is facing in India.
The minister’s invitation comes a day after the billionaire said that Tesla Inc is “still working through a lot of challenges with the government” in India to launch its electric cars.
“Hey Elon, I am the Industry & Commerce Minister of Telangana state in India. Will be happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges to set shop in India/Telangana,” Mr Rao said in a reply to Mr Musk’s tweet.
Hey Elon, I am the Industry & Commerce Minister of Telangana state in India
Will be happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges to set shop in India/Telangana
Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives & a top notch business destination in India https://t.co/hVpMZyjEIr— KTR (@KTRTRS) January 14, 2022
“Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives & a top notch business destination in India,” he added.
Mr Musk, while replying to a Twitter user on Thursday who’d asked if there was any update on Tesla’s launch in India, had not identified the “challenges” being worked on with the government.
The Tesla CEO and the centre have been in talks for years, but disagreements over a local factory and the country’s import duties of as much as 100 per cent have led to an impasse. Tesla has been lobbying the government to slash import taxes on electric vehicles before it enters the market.
Tesla is expected to face competition from other foreign players, including Mercedes-Benz, which announced Wednesday it’ll roll out a locally assembled EQS — the electric version of its flagship S-Class sedan — in India by the fourth quarter.
(With inputs from agencies)