New Delhi: NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has urged American carmaker Tesla to start manufacturing its electric vehicles in India and transform it into a production hub. Mr Kumar also assured that the US carmaker will get tax benefits it wants from the government.
The NITI Aayog VC, at a virtual conference of the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI) on Thursday, has stated that Tesla shouldn't just ship assembled products as it will not create jobs in the country.
"Come and manufacture in India, you (Tesla) will get all the tax benefits that you want. But don't ship us the assembled product because that doesn't create jobs for us and our requirement is to ramp up jobs and create employment," he said in response when asked about about Tesla's demand related to tax concessions.
"And if that's done, then most welcome. In fact, inviting Tesla to make India a production hub. But, the argument that we will create a market by exporting into India finished products ... is an old argument and we have moved on from that," Mr Kumar added.
The statement comes after it was reported -- by news agency Reuters -- that the US-based carmaker has urged the Prime Minister's office (PMO) to slash import taxes on electric vehicles before it enters the market.
Tesla's request for tax cuts raised objections from automakers in India, who have said that such a move would deter investment in domestic manufacturing.
Earlier in October, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had also stated that the Centre has asked Tesla several times to manufacture its electric vehicles in the country.
India levies an import duty of 60 per cent on electric vehicles that cost $40,000 or less, and 100 per cent duty on those priced above $40,000.
The US carmaker had apparently argued that the taxes on vehicles with customs value above $40,000 "were too high".