Sidhu invites Elon Musk to Punjab, aims to make Ludhiana electric vehicle hub
According to Sidhu, this will, in turn, bring new technology to Punjab and “create green jobs”, staying at the same time on the path of environment preservation and sustainable development.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday invited American entrepreneur Elon Musk, also the founder and CEO of electric car major Tesla, to Punjab, with an aim to foster the city of Ludhiana as a hub for the electric vehicle industry. According to Sidhu, this will, in turn, bring new technology to Punjab and “create green jobs”, staying at the same time on the path of environment preservation and sustainable development.
A Twitter user had asked Elon Musk earlier this week regarding updates as to when his electric vehicle and clean energy company, Tesla, would be launching its products and services in India. To this, the business magnate had replied, “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government.”
Sidhu, the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, took this opportunity to extend his invitation today to the Tesla CEO, quote-tweeting the latter's reply from his official handle on the microblogging social platform.
“I invite @elonmusk,” wrote Sidhu, “Punjab Model will create Ludhiana as a hub for electric vehicles and battery industry with time-bound single window clearance for investment that brings new technology to Punjab, create green jobs, walking path of environment preservation and sustainable development.”
Politicians from West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Telangana, among others, have also extended their invitations to the American electric car major's founder to their respective states.
Notably, Tesla had last year sought a reduction in import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) in India.
In a letter to the road ministry, the US firm said that the effective import tariff of 110 per cent on vehicles with customs value above $40,000 is “prohibitive” to zero-emission vehicles.
The electric car major had requested the government to standardise the tariff on electric cars to 40 per cent, irrespective of the customs value, and withdraw the social welfare surcharge of 10 per cent on such vehicles.
It had been said that these changes would boost the development of the Indian EV ecosystem and the company will make significant direct investments in sales, service, and charging infrastructure; and significantly increase procurement from India for its global operations.
The Union heavy industries ministry, however, had asked the electric car major to first start manufacturing its iconic EVs in India before any tax concessions can be considered.
Government officials familiar with the matter had informed the PTI news agency that they were not giving such concessions to any auto firm, and giving duty benefits to Tesla will not send a good signal to other companies that have invested billions of dollars in India.
At present, cars imported as completely built units (CBUs) attract customs duty, ranging from 60 to 100 per cent, depending on the engine size and cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value less or above $40,000.
In January 2021, Tesla registered its Indian arm amid indications that the company is set to enter the country's automobile market.
According to a regulatory filing, the firm registered Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt. Ltd. with RoC (Registrar Of Companies) Bangalore.
The company has been registered as an unlisted private entity with a paid-up capital of ₹1 lakh.