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“Chose Gujarat Because…”: Vedanta Chief On Deal Amid Row Over Maharashtra

Mumbai: On Vedanta-Foxconn’s decision to set up a semiconductor facility in Gujarat instead of Maharashtra, Vedanta Resources Ltd Chairman Anil Agarwal on Wednesday said that the company is still committed to investing in Maharashtra. Mr Agarwal said that the company chose Gujarat for the deal on the basis of professional and independent advice.
The chairman took to Twitter and said, “We decided on Gujarat few months ago as it met our expectations. But in the July meeting with Maharashtra leadership, they made a huge effort to outbid other states with a competitive offer. We have to start in one place and based on professional and independent advice, we chose Gujarat.”

“We are committed to investing in Maharashtra. We will soon create a hub where Maharashtra will be part of our forward integration,” Mr Agarwal further said in a series of tweets, adding that Vedanta-Foxconn have been assessing the sites and engaging in dialogue with state governments for the last two years, and “we hope to continue these conversations for the growth of our country in years to come.”

Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Limited and Taiwan’s Foxconn on Tuesday signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Gujarat government for setting up a semiconductor and display fab manufacturing unit in the state with an investment of over ₹ 1.54 lakh crore.

The agreement was signed in presence of the Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw. State minister Jitubhai Vaghani was also present on the occasion.

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 an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) facility in Gujarat with an investment of ₹ 60,000 crore.

The two MoUs, together, will bring an investment of more than ₹ 1.54 lakh crore and generate around 1 lakh new employment opportunities in the state, Mr Vaghani during the event at a hotel in Gandhinagar.

The proposed investment by Vedanta and Foxconn Group for setting up India’s first display fab manufacturing unit and an integrated semiconductor fab unit with an OSAT facility will further support the development of upstream and downstream electronics manufacturing clusters and the establishment of healthy trade linkages.

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Later, after the deal between Vedanta- Foxconn deal and Gujarat, Opposition leaders in Maharashtra criticised the state government for letting go of the deal.

Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, accusing the Eknath Shinde government, said, “Although I’m glad to see this in India, I am also a little bit shocked.”

“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,” he said.

The former Maharashtra minister said that he himself had worked on the deal and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had almost finalised it.

“Industries Minister Subhash Desai Ji, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and I myself held meetings for bringing this semiconductor project to Maharashtra. The MVA government had brought this to the final stage. Under the MVA, our effort was to make Maharashtra, the lead state contributor to India’s progress, just like other states in a healthy competition,” the Shiv Sena leader said.

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