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A file photo of Nokia facility in Tamil Nadu. Photo: Sharp Image
A file photo of Nokia facility in Tamil Nadu. Photo: Sharp Image

Tamil Nadu taking steps to revive Nokia facility: governor

Governor K. Rosaiah says the Tamil Nadu government is taking very serious efforts for revival of Nokia plant along with the component manufacturers

Chennai: Tamil Nadu governor K. Rosaiah on Thursday said efforts are underway to revive the Nokia facility in Chennai, more than a year after it suspended operations.

“The state government is taking very serious efforts for revival of Nokia plant along with the component manufacturers. Chief minister deputed a team of officials to Taiwan recently to hold discussions with global companies like Foxconn," Rosaiah said in his address to the first session of the 15th Tamil Nadu assembly.

The mobile phone factory shut operations on 1 November, 2014 after a 10,000 crore tax dispute with the income-tax department. Microsoft Corp., which acquired the mobile phone assets of Nokia worldwide for $7.2 billion in 2014, kept the Chennai plant out of the deal.

Production at three manufacturing facilities of Foxconn (the main supplier of motherboards to Nokia) in Sriperumbadur, near Chennai, was suspended in February 2015 after the Finnish company halted operations.

Leader of the opposition M.K. Stalin criticized the governor’s address.

“They are talking about bringing back companies like Nokia. But the reason these companies moved out of Tamil Nadu is because of this government," said Stalin.

The governor also announced that the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will introduce a Lokayukta, or an anti-corruption ombudsman.

“This government is committed to improving transparency in administration and will establish the institution of Lokayukta in Tamil Nadu through appropriate enactment once the proposed amendments to the Lokpal Act are made by Parliament," he said.

In the speech, Rosiah said that in the next five years, new 3,000 MW of solar energy and 13,000 MW of thermal power would be added to the state grid.

On the infrastructure front, the Integrated Urban Development Mission (IUDM) and the Chennai Mega City Development Mission (CMCDM) would be synergised with the centre’s Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

The IUDM is an initiative to improve basic infrastructure like roads, drinking water supply, sewerage, storm water drains, sanitation and solid waste management in an integrated manner. CMCDM is meant for the city of Chennai.

“Before 2017-end, services will be commenced in the entire metro (Phase-I) network," the governor said.

Priority would be given to industrial corridor development especially the Chennai-Bengaluru industrial corridor and the Madurai-Thoothukudi industrial corridor.

He said the government would continue to press the centre for a lasting solution to the Sri Lanka problem and reiterated the government’s stance on retrieval of Katchatheevu from the island republic.

“This government will continue to seek accountability of those who perpetrated genocide on innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka during the civil war," Rosaiah said.

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