States invite Tesla

Even as negotiations between Tesla, the US electric car manufacturer, and the Central government seems to be stretching, a Maharashtra minister has extended the company an invite to start operations in the state and has assured all possible help. Two other states, Telangana and West Bengal, have also expressed interest in getting the car maker to invest within their jurisdiction.

State water resources minister Jayant Patil wrote to Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter on Sunday, inviting him to establish the company’s plant in Maharashtra.

A few days back, Musk was replying to a query on when Tesla will launch in India. "Still working through a lot of challenges with the government,” said his message. Patil replied to Musk saying, "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. ”

Since Musk’s tweet, Telangana and West Bengal too have extended similar invitations. Telangana was the first to woo Musk. Industry and commerce minister of Telangana KT Rama Ra o wrote on Twitter, “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. ” West Bengal minister Md Ghulam Rabbani tweeted, "Drop here, we in West Bengal have best infra & our leader @MamataOfficial has got the vision. Bengal means Business".

Maharashtra has reached out to Tesla in the past as well. In October 2020, cabinet ministers Aaditya Thackeray and Subhash Desai had interacted with a Tesla team and invited them to the state. Maharashtra is one of the few states which has rolled out an electric vehicle policy which gives concessions to manufacturers as well as consumers. The state government has also taken a policy decision to purchase only electric vehicles for its use from now on.

Musk had said in 2021 that Tesla plans to start manufacturing in India from 2022 but since then he has repeatedly complained about high import duties in the country. “I'm told import duties are extremely high (up to 100%), even for electric cars. This would make our cars unaffordable,” he said.

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