Maharashtra's MoUs with Chinese companies kept on hold

This does not mean that they have been rescinded or cancelled, says Subhash Desai

Updated - June 23, 2020 10:15 am IST

Published - June 22, 2020 08:57 pm IST - Mumbai:

Maharashtra's Minister of Industries Subhash Desai.

Maharashtra's Minister of Industries Subhash Desai.

Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai on Monday said that status quo has been maintained on Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed with Chinese companies. He said that since there are no directions from the Centre to not accept investment from China, the projects had been kept on hold and not cancelled.

Also read: Ram Vilas Paswan calls for boycott of Chinese goods

“The Memorandums of Understanding signed on June 15, 2020, between the Industries Department of Maharashtra and three Chinese companies have been placed on hold (as-is-where-is) by the Maharashtra government,” said Mr. Desai.

He clarified, “Status quo will be maintained on the MoUs with the Chinese companies for the moment. This does not mean that they have been rescinded or cancelled. In fact, further developments on the same are awaited.”

Three companies

The three Chinese companies — Hengli, PMI Electro Mobility Solutions (joint venture with Foton), and Great Wall Motors — have committed to an investment of ₹250 crore, ₹1,000 crore and ₹3,770 crore, respectively, in the Phase II Talegaon industrial belt of Maharashtra in Pune for which the MOUs were signed on June 15, 2020.

Comment | Can India decouple itself from Chinese manufacturing?

“The Maharashtra government is awaiting clear policy directions from the Union government on these three projects, collectively worth ₹5,020 crore, in the wake of the currently changed environment in India,” Mr. Desai further clarified.

The MoUs were signed as a part of ‘Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0’, aimed at promoting investments in the State. This was the first MoU signing event in a span of three months since the outbreak of corona pandemic. Companies from India, South Korea, U.S.A., Singapore and China participated in the event.

Also read: Now, China embraces Bangladesh in trade

Lost deal

Earlier this year, the State lost out on what was probably the highest-ever investment by a single company when Taiwan-based manufacturer Faxconn Technology Group decided not to go ahead with its plant in the Maharashtra. In January 2020, Mr. Desai confirmed that the deal with the group to build an electronics manufacturing plant had been cancelled.

The group was to go ahead with an investment of $5 billion according to the MoU signed with the previous government in 2015. Mr. Desai had then said that the project could not go ahead owing to Foxconn’s internal dispute with Appl Inc. The plant was to be set up on a 13-acre plot in the special economic zone (SEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.

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