The minister of state for heavy industries told the parliament of India, Lok Sabha during a discussion that Tesla is yet to apply for Government policy schemes. Union Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar told that Tesla will not have relaxations unless it participates in manufacturing activities in India.
Last year, the Elon Musk-led company sought a reduction in import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) in India but the Ministry of Heavy Industries asked the firm to start manufacturing its iconic EVs in the country before any tax concessions can be considered. Gujar stated that the government has production inked incentives for manufacturing both automobiles and batteries in the country. Both schemes are applicable for domestic and foreign entities.
To a query on Tesla, the minister stated, “the company wants workers from China and market of India. This is not possible in the Modi government… Our government’s policy is that if the Indian market is to be used, job opportunities will have to be given to Indians.” The question was from Congress member K Suresh on a discussion on whether the government should let the automaker enter the Indian market or not. Currently, the government is taking measures to push for mass production locally.
The Minister further stated, “Want to ask the member if they want India’s money to go to China? That company has not applied as per our policy. For that (company), doors of India are open, they can come to apply as per policy, set up company, give jobs to our people, increase government revenue,”
Last month Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the automaker is working on entering the Indian market. Challenges continue especially as Tesla isn’t sure about the market in India. Tesla has proposed that once they start selling vehicles and it turns out to be a potential market, then the company could think of production. However, it doesn’t seem likely that Tesla will be going ahead with a production plant. Currently, the EV maker is focused on its factory in Germany and the US.
However, the Indian government is focused on promoting the EV manufacturing process. Additionally, the minister also said recently a round table was organized that saw participation of representatives of several companies and associations like SIAM. All said in one voice that the government has done what it had to and that it was now time for the industries to come forward, he stated.