Despite agreeing to provide capital subsidy worth Rs 39,000 cr against Rs 28,000 cr by Guj, Maha lost $20bn Vedanta-Foxconn investment

Sanjay JogUpdated: Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 10:42 PM IST
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As they say devil is in the details. Maharashtra lost the $20bn semiconductor project to Gujarat despite offering a lucrative deal to Vedanta-Foxconn. According to the state industry department’s data, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and Shinde-Fadnavis government had offered a capital subsidy of Rs 39,000 crore against Rs 28,000 crore by the BJP-led government in Gujarat. Even though the MVA government had laid down the framework for attracting the project, the Shinde-Fadnavis government took it forward so that the Vedanta-Foxconn deal could materialise.

With the formal announcement by Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal and tweets by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel about signing of the MoU, the MVA partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress slammed the Shinde-Fadnavis government for the loss of proposed semiconductor project to Gujarat while BJP targeted MVA government questioning why a better package was not given to Vedanta-Foxconn compared to Gujarat.

Industry minister Uday Samant said that the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and he would take up the issue with Vedanta Foxconn inviting them to Maharashtra. He further stated that they will also seek PM’s intervention so that the project is back with the state.

A senior industry department officer told the Free Press Journal, "Of the 1100 acres of land at Talegaon, the state-run Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had agreed to provide 400 acres of land free of cost while the balance 700 acres at 75% rate. Of the Rs 39,000 crore capital subsidy, the Maharashtra government had offered 25% capital subsidy for display, 30% for semiconductor & 27% for other outsourced semiconductor assembly.

Besides, the government had agreed for assured power supply of 1200 mw at Rs 3 per unit inclusive of all taxes for 20 years (Rs 5738 crore), 80 million liters water per day at Rs 12 per cubic meters for 20 years, stamp duty exemption at 5%, electricity duty exemption at 7.5% for 10 years.’’

He further said that MIDC had agreed to give a water subsidy of Rs 337 crore and common effluent treatment changes (Rs 812 crore). The government had also agreed for EPF and ESI incentives worth Rs 864 crore for five years.

Another officer said that Vedanta-Foxconn had zeroed in on Talegaon as they were happy with the ecosystem required for the semiconductor project. "Of the nearly 100 points, on majority of points the Vedanta-Foxconn had indicated that Talegaon is the most suitable site for its venture against Gujarat."

He noted that the Maharashtra government could have earned a revenue of Rs 28,607 crore through state GST for 20 years.

He further said Gujarat had offered 20% each capital subsidy for display, semiconductor and other outsourced semiconductor assembly offering. "Gujarat had offered a power tariff of Rs 2 per unit inclusive of all taxes for 10 years, 75% subsidy on 200 acres of land and exemption of stamp duty at 5%.

Verbal duel

Yuva Sena chief and former minister Aaditya Thackeray slammed the Shinde-Fadnavis government for the loss of the Vedanta-Foxconn project to Gujarat saying that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government under CM Uddhav Thackeray had brought this to final stage in state, but claimed that the new dispensation's commitment was to send the investment away from Maharashtra.

"Although I’m glad to see this in India, I am a bit shocked to see this. New dispensation had tweeted photos, claiming to have brought this to Maharashtra, but it seems intent/ commitment was to send this away from Maharashtra. Our MVA Govt had brought this to the final stage,’’ he said. He wished the semiconductor industry and the Vedanta a success, but added that the MVA government's effort to bring investment should not have gone in vain. Aaditya claimed that with the project going to Gujarat nearly 170 allied industries which would have come up in Maharashtra would not be developed leading to a loss of 1 lakh jobs.

The state NCP chief Jayant Patil alleged that Gujarat has snatched away an ambitious project at a time when the state assembly elections are round the corner. "MVA government has worked hard for the project development in the state. CM and DCM are busy in holding political meetings and as they have no time for governance the Gujarat has taken away the project. The Maharashtra BJP unit seems to be interested in protecting the interest of Gujarat. Will CM and DCM tender an apology to educated and unemployed youths for their loss of jobs?’’ he asked.

The Maharashtra Congress Legislature party leader Balasaheb Thorat also hit out at the Shinde-Fadnavis government saying that CM and DCM were busy with felicitation functions. Had they given some attention to the state affairs, such a big project would not have slipped through the hands of Maharashtra. "Maharashtra is number one choice for investors. The MVA government brought huge investment creating employment to lakhs of youth. But how come in two and half months of the Shinde Fadnavis government, a big project like this moved to Gujarat?’’he asked.

However, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar countered opposition’s claims. "Will Aaditya explain why his party did not nurture one Marathi UNICORN start-up in 25 years? Who helped Jasra/Dino/Gomes/Nandkumar ACHIEVE UNICORN status in LOCKDOWN? Who facilitated the Glasgow/London Pak benami Causis E bus deal ?’’ he asked.

Shelar further said ‘’You couldn't bring this project to Maharashtra, don't stick your neck out to hide the truth!’’

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