New Delhi: Days after Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his electric car company Tesla was “working through a lot of challenges” with the Indian government that have delayed plans to launch in the country, four states have extended invitations so far to the billionaire industrialist to set up shop. Latest in the list is West Bengal Minister Md Ghulam Rabbani, who on Sunday took to Twitter to invite Musk to “drop here” and set up his business in the state.Also Read - Elon Musk Says Jeff Bezos Needs to Party Less If He Wants Get to Orbit. See Tweet
The US-based company, which is looking to launch its products in India, had last year sought a reduction in import duties so that its high-performance electric cars can begin to sell in India. The heavy industries ministry had asked the electric car major to first start manufacturing its iconic vehicles in India before any tax concessions are considered. Also Read - Tesla in India: Elon Musk Says No Manufacturing Plant Where Sale, Service Not Allowed. Full Details Here
Responding to a tweet on the company’s plans to launch its products in India, Musk had written on 13 January, “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government.” Retweeting this, Rabbani, who is the minister for minority development and madrasa education in the West Bengal government, said: “Drop here, we in West Bengal have best infra & our leader @MamataOfficial has got the vision. Bengal means Business.” Also Read - West Bengal Waives Off Registration Fee, Motor Vehicle and Additional Taxes For Electric, CNG vehicles
Rabbani’s tweet came just hours after Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu asked Musk to set up manufacturing units in the state. He said the ‘Punjab model’ will create Ludhiana as a hub for electric vehicles and the battery industry with time-bound single-window clearance for investment.
“I invite @elonmusk, Punjab Model will create Ludhiana as 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,” Sidhu said.
Earlier, Maharashtra minister Jayant Patil invited Musk to set up a production unit in the state, assuring him of all necessary help. “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,” wrote Patil.
However, Telangana minister and TRS working president KT Rama Rao was the first to invite the billionaire businessman to his state. Rao said Telangana is a champion in sustainability initiatives and his government would be happy to partner with Tesla in working through the challenges.
“Hey Elon, I am the Industry and Commerce Minister of Telangana state in India. Will be happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges to set shop in India/Telangana,” Rao said in a reply to Musk’s tweet. “Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives and a top notch business destination in India,” he added.
For the uninitiated, Musk had on January 13 said that the EV maker is facing a “lot of challenges” for its car launch in India. “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government,” Musk tweeted. Musk was replying to a Twitter user, who asked: “Yo @elonmusk any further update as to when Tesla’s will launch in India? They’re pretty awesome and deserve to be in every corner of the world!”
(With agency inputs)