Home / News / India /  Gujarat's chip plant row: A letter, Vedanta's demands and CM Shinde's response

It seems like losing the mega Foxconn-Vedanta project to Gujarat has become a huge deal for the Maharashtra cabinet. However, Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal has given his clarification on why the project went to Gujarat instead of Maharashtra, the Maharashtra cabinet still seems perplexed over the company's decision.

This is because the former Maharashtra government-led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the incumbent Shinde one, have claimed that they strived hard to win the multi-billion dollar project which would have helped in boosting the state's economy.

Shiv Sena leader and Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray accused the Shinde-led Maharashtra government and said, "Although I'm glad to see this in India, I am also a little bit shocked".

Thackeray further said, "For a project almost finalised, and a new dispensation claiming credit over it, only shows lack of commitment from the new dispensation for our State's progress."

But a report by Indian Express also revealed that the Shinde government also tried to not lose the futuristic project. The daily cited a letter of July 26 written to Vedanta Chairman in which Shinde said “…(your) two key requests from the state are to seek central government alignment and cabinet approval. You will be pleased to know that on both fronts, the state is already in advanced stages and is moving ahead expeditiously".

As per the national daily, the Vedanta Group made two key requests to the Maharashtra government before finalising the location of its 1.5-lakh-crore semiconductor facility in Talegaon. The two demands were: “Central government alignment," and state Cabinet approval.

While CM Shinde was looking forward to Agarwal's "earliest confirmation", the joint venture between Foxconn-Vedanta chose Gujarat.

However, when Indian Express asked Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant what led to the project moving out, Samant said it seemed they (Vedanta-Foxconn) had already made up their mind to invest in Gujarat.

Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal took to Twitter to clarify the company's stand. He said that Vedanta-Foxconn had been professionally assessing the sites for investment. "This is a scientific and financial process which takes several years. We started this about 2 years ago. We decided (on) Gujarat (a) a few months ago as they met our expectations".

"We are committed to investing in Maharashtra. We will soon create a hub where Maharashtra will be part of our forward integration," Agarwal further said in a series of tweets.

Meanwhile, Samant said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has spoken with the prime minister after Gujarat bagged the project. He said PM Modi has assured that the state will get a similar project or even a better one.

However, the opposition has attacked the Shinde government for not being serious enough to crack the deal. Former Industries Minister Subash Desai said, "If the project has gone to Gujarat despite that, then it is clear that the decision is political and under pressure from the Central Government".

On September 14, the Vedanta-Foxconn joint venture signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government for setting up a semiconductor facility.

The Vedanta-Foxconn group under the MoU will set up a Display Fab Unit in Gujarat with an investment of 94,500 crore as well as an integrated Semiconductor Fab Unit and OSAT facility in Gujarat with an investment of 60,000 crore.

Vedanta and Foxconn Group will work closely with the state government to establish high-tech clusters with requisite infrastructure, including land, semiconductor-grade water, high-quality power, logistics, and a skill ecosystem.

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