Jun 15, 2017 07:10 PM IST | Source:

Elon Musk’s proposals under consideration, decision yet to be taken: Govt sources

A senior government official told Moneycontrol that Tesla's proposal to set up a manufacturing base is under consideration.

Even as Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday said on Twitter that the company is in talks with the Indian government for relaxation of import duties for making its electric car in India, a senior government official told Moneycontrol that the proposal is indeed under consideration.

He further added and a final decision is yet to be taken whether to give relaxation or not on import duties or not to Tesla.

“They (Tesla) have been talking to several government departments. That’s been on for a while. There is keen interest from areas such as electronics manufacturing but the final decision will be that of the government,” a senior government official who did not wish to be named told Moneycontrol.

Responding to a Delhi based startup entrepreneur’s query on Twitter regarding Tesla’s India plans, Musk tweeted this on Thursday: “Tesla is in discussion with the government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built,” he said.

Last month, Musk spooked Indian buyers when he hinted that there could be a delay in delivering Tesla’s Model 3 electric car, following an information he received that local laws mandates sourcing 30 percent of parts locally.

Tech entrepreneurs such as Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma and GoQii founder Vishal Gondal have been reported to have booked a Tesla Model 3 car.

The issue of import duties has not come up the first time. The Indian government last month tweeted a clarification of the sourcing rules through its “Make in India” Twitter handle, marking Musk in the tweet.

In 2015, during his maiden visit to the United States after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a Tesla facility in Fremont, California.

There were also reports of Tesla considering setting up an assembly unit in India for its Model 3 post Modi’s visit.

The company was also said to be in talks with the Indian government to rationalize import duty on electric cars and was seeking to develop a separate category for electric vehicles.

In addition to the design, manufacturing, and selling of electric cars, Tesla also does the same for electric vehicle power train components, and battery products. Prime Minister Modi was said to be a big fan of these non-polluting means of producing energy as part of the Indian government’s “Clean India” initiative.
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