$20 billion Gujarat factory, Sharad Pawar’s Dig At Centre, Vedanta – Flying Journals

$20 billion Gujarat factory, Sharad Pawar's Dig At Centre, Vedanta

Sharad Pawar said Maharashtra industrial establishments like SICOM have become inactive. (document)


National Congress Party (NCP) chairman Sharad Pawar said on Thursday that the centre had assured the Maharashtra government that offering the state a larger project than the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor factory would be like “comforting a child” , adding that now that the sector has relocated to Gujarat, there is no point in discussing the matter further.

He also dug into Vedanta, saying that if the Indian mining company proposes a project in Maharashtra, there is no guarantee that the state will propose it.

Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are trying to corner the Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government after announcing two days ago that a joint venture would build a Rs 154 crore semiconductor factory. Indian oil and metals conglomerate Vedanta and Gujarat-based Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn. The factory should have been built in Maharashtra earlier.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Pawar excavated the project in central Gujarat and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah both control the reins of the country, so it would be understandable “if they are concerned about their hometown”.

Asked about his reaction to Maharashtra’s loss of the Vedanta-Foxconn project, the former federal minister insisted that there was no point in discussing the issue as the project had entered the adjoining state .

He said the mega-project was initially envisaged in Talegaon, near the city of Pune, which already has a car hub near Chakan. It would be good for the company (Vedanta-Foxconn) if the factory showed up in Talegaon.

Opposition leader Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the state government have engaged in a war of words over the issue as Gujarat secured multibillion-dollar projects, accusing Maharashtra of not getting the factories.

Responding to Industry Minister Uday Samant’s announcement that the Prime Minister has assured Chief Minister Eknath Shinde that the state has a better and bigger project than Vedanata-Foxcon, Pawar said: “A bigger project will be offered to Maharashtra The statement was like comforting a child who cried after seeing another child with a balloon in his hand, and his parents comforting him that they would give him a bigger balloon.” Rajya Sabha MP slams Shinde and Samant for accusing The previous Uddhav Thackeray-led government, of which the NCP was part, as the state did not get the project.

“The irony here is that both Samant and Hind are ministers in the Thackeray government,” said the NCP president.

He said the project should come to Maharashtra and there have been discussions about it.

“But (the plans) have changed a bit and now I don’t see any solution. Some say the decision should be changed and the project should be brought back to Maharashtra, but it’s not going to happen. It (the project goes to Gujarat) Shouldn’t happen. It’s a project in Maharashtra and it shouldn’t leave the state, but it doesn’t make sense to discuss it now,” he said.

Asked if Gujarat’s political leadership was more decisive than Maharashtra’s, Pawar said it would be understandable if Modi and Shah paid more attention to their homeland.

“Modi himself is there, Amit Shah is there, these people control the reins of the country. So if they pay more attention to Gujarat, it will be obvious. If you see Modi’s Travel, where does he go often? If you look at the records of the last two or three months, one thing becomes clear – a person has an attachment to his home,” he said.

Mr Pawar said the Vedanta Group was part of the project and its chairman, Anil Agarwal, had full authority to decide its location.

“You may not know, but an important project was supposed to take place in Ratnagiri (off the coast of Maharashtra) and the project belonged to the Vedanta group. But after a while, there were protests and the project immediately Was brought to Chennai. It’s an old thing. So it’s not the first time from Vedanta, it has happened (and earlier). If a project in Vedanta was proposed (to Maha Rashtra), there is no guarantee that the project will actually come,” he added.

Earlier, Agarwal said in a series of tweets that the Vedanta-Foxconn joint venture has been professionally evaluating the multi-billion dollar investment in the project.

“It’s a scientific and financial process that takes years. We started the process about two years ago,” the industrialist said.

He said they had shortlisted Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and had been in contact with those governments as well as the central government and had “received tremendous support”.

“We decided on Gujarat a few months ago because they met our expectations. But when meeting with Maharashtra leaders in July, they made a huge effort to outperform other states with a competitive offer .We have to start from one place and advise Gujarat based on our choice of professional and independent,” Chairman Vedanta said.

Industrial institutions like SICOM (Maharashtra State Industrial Investment Corporation) have become inactive, the senior politician said.

“A person burps after a meal, indicating that he doesn’t need to eat anymore. I think the current state leaders feel the same way. This practice has to change, and measures should be taken to bring more programs to the country, ” said the former chief minister.

Asked if potential investors were concerned about political instability in Maharashtra, Pawar said a state must create a favorable atmosphere for attracting investment and industry.

“Don’t think about the state, but blame each other. I think both those in power and the opposition should stop blaming each other and everyone should try to improve the mood in the state and focus on how to move it forward,” the NCP leader said.

Mr Pawar said when he was chief minister of Maharashtra, he used to set aside two hours a day to discuss with new investors. “This is the investment climate in Maharashtra. This approach needs to be revived,” he said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the syndicated feed.)

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