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Tesla execs meet govt officials with plans to make electric cars in India

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Billionaire Elon Musk-controlled Tesla Inc has presented a proposal to Indian government officials for setting up a factory in India to build electric cars for domestic sale and export.

Tesla executives are understood to have discussed details of the plan with senior government officials in the PMO as well as other ministries in Delhi on Wednesday, according to a Reuters report.

Tesla’s fresh move to make cars in India comes after the government turned down the US company’s request last year to lower the customs duty on cars.

The government had made it clear that the US electric carmaker must produce its vehicles in India. Tesla, which has a large presence in China, had claimed that it wanted to test the Indian market first with imports, but the government was not convinced with its argument.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a “Make in India” campaign to attract companies and Tesla’s local production of electric cars would fit into this strategy as the US carmaker looks to diversify its supply chain beyond China.

With the US having imposed sanctions on China, the fast-growing Indian market has emerged as a major attraction for global companies.

PM Modi had pointed out in his speech at the Rozgar Mela on Wednesday that there is unprecedented positivity for India’s industry and investment worldwide which was reflected in his recent meetings with the CEOs of global giants such as Walmart, Cisco, Apple and Foxconn. These companies would create more jobs for the youth with their investments in India, he added.