Eknath Shinde govt loses Rs 1,54,000-crore semiconductor project to Gujarat; Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP fume

New Delhi: Maharashtra on Tuesday (September 13, 2022) lost a mega Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project to Gujarat, with the opposition slamming the Eknath Shinde-led government for the state “losing” out on the Rs 1,54,000-crore venture. Indian conglomerate Vedanta and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn have jointly inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gujarat government to set up a semiconductor and display manufacturing unit in the state.

Vedanta, an oil-to-metals conglomerate, and Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn will make one of the largest-ever investments of Rs 1.54 lakh crore in setting up India’s first semiconductor plant in Gujarat. The 60:40 joint venture of Vedanta-Foxconn will set up a semiconductor fabrication plant, a display unit and a semiconductor assembling and testing facility on 1,000 acres of land in the Ahmedabad district. 

Maharashtra lost investment potential of more than Rs 1 lakh crore: NCP

Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is the main opposition outfit in Maharashtra, accused Gujarat of “snatching morsel from Maharashtra’s mouth”. 

Maharashtra NCP president and former minister Jayant Patil said with the big-ticket project “slipping” away from the hands of Maharashtra, the state has lost an investment potential of more than Rs one lakh crore. 

“As Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra (Devendra Fadnavis) do not get time from holding political meetings, Gujarat has once again taken away the morsel from Maharashtra’s mouth. With the Gujarat elections coming up, the BJP in Maharashtra seems busy in safeguarding the interests of Gujarat,” Patil said. 

“Will Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) apologise to the educated unemployed youth of the state for losing out on the project?” he asked. 

Patil, who was a senior minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, said that the MVA, when in power, had pursued the investment. 

Eknath Shinde-led government has ‘lost confidence’ of potential investors: Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray hit out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), when it was in power, had “very strongly” pursued this project. 

“It was almost decided that the plant will come up in Maharashtra,” Aaditya said, who served as a cabinet minister in the erstwhile MVA government headed by the Shiv Sena. 

“Our MVA government had brought this to final stage. The current dispensation has lost the confidence of potential investors, hence such mega projects are not coming here,” he said. 

Aaditya Thackeray also said that the mega project would have supported 160 ancillary industries and generated 70,000 to 1 lakh employment opportunities. 

He said the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government was in touch with the company and a meeting had also taken place with its representatives in January this year. 

“The new dispensation tweeted photos, claiming to have brought this (project) to Maharashtra but it seems intent or commitment was to send this away from Maharashtra,” Aaditya said. 

Company officials also visited Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra and finally Talegaon (in Pune district) was identified as the possible site for the factory, he added. 

Slamming the Shinde-led dispensation, which took office on June 30, the junior Thackeray said, “What was the government doing? What was the industries minister doing? On July 26, the CMO tweeted that the plant will come up in Maharashtra.”

Something ‘sinister’ took place which made company shift its plant from Maharashtra to Gujarat: Congress

Congress leader and former Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Thorat alleged that discussions about setting up Foxconn’s semiconductor plant in Maharashtra were “almost complete” but something “sinister” took place which made the company shift the location to Gujarat.

“The Foxconn plant was expected to bring investment of nearly Rs 1.58 lakh crore to Maharashtra. Ninety per cent of our discussions regarding the plant had been completed,” he said.

“Something sinister took place which made the company shift its plant from Maharashtra to Gujarat. Nearly one lakh new employment opportunities would have been created with this plant,” Thorat, who was the revenue minister in the MVA government, added. 

It needs to be probed how Maharashtra state lost out on project: Raj Thackeray

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray also said it needs to be probed how the state lost out on the project.

“This plant was to come up at Talegaon near Pune. How did a project with the potential to generate large-scale employment slipped from Maharashtra’s hands? This is a serious issue and this needs to be probed thoroughly. Maharashtra was the priority state for investors and investment going away from the state like this is not a good sign. This has to be considered by going beyond politics,” he tweeted.

(With agency inputs)