State industry minister Uday Samant is “surprised” at losing Vedanta’s $20 billion semiconductor project. Confirming that the Maharashtra government offered the oil-to-metals major a capital subsidy of Rs 39,000 crore for diversification into chips, Samant said, “It is now for Vedanta Group chief Anil Agarwal to tell why they chose Gujarat.”
Samant said that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday night spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has assured another project of almost equivalent size and investment in Maharashtra. “A delegation comprising the CM and deputy CM will meet the PM, seeking the Centre’s help in getting big investments,” said Samant, who will also be a part of the delegation.
The minister said that the state government is “feeling sad over losing the project”. He added, “We are sorry. But the delay and folly of the earlier Maha Vikas Aghadi government led to the loss.
‘Won’t be surprised if Mumbai goes to Gujarat’: Nana Patole attacks Shinde-Fadnavis govt on Vedanta-Foxconn project
Samant claimed that the MVA discussed the subsidy package with Vedanta-Foxconn, but the high power committee (HPC) had not cleared it. “The HPC meeting took place on July 15 and gave its go-ahead for the subsidy package,” he said, adding that the HPC’s clearance is a prerequisite for providing such a package to investors.
He said the MVA kept the project in abeyance for seven months, and that it had earlier (January 7, 2020) even declared that Vedanta-Foxconn were not interested in coming to Maharashtra.
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, in response to Samant’s charges, said, “Some messages are circulated to create confusion between two separate projects. For Foxconn’s phone assembly project, signed under the earlier Fadnavis-led government, the state waited till 2020 but they didn’t come back. Vedanta-Foxconn was initiated in 2022, only after the Centre’s push for semiconductors in December 2021.”
On another front, Samant, without naming the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, asked the opponents to make their stand clear on the proposed Rs 3 lakh crore mega refinery project at Barsu in Ratnagiri. He hoped that the project would boost the state’s industrial development and economic growth.
Meanwhile, the Yuva Sena will launch a state-wide protest across Maharashtra on September 15 for the loss of potential one lakh jobs due to the Vedanta project.