US billionaire Elon Musk's lament that his electric car company Tesla was "working through a lot of challenges" with the Indian government that have delayed plans to launch in the country have led to invitations from two more states.
After Telangana's invitation earlier this week, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and a Maharashtra minister today offered Mr Musk a place to set up Tesla's manufacturing plant in his state.
Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, in a reply to Mr Musk's tweet, said, "Maharashtra is one of the most progressive states in India. We will provide you all the necessary help from Maharashtra for you to get established in India."
"We invite you to establish your manufacturing plant in Maharashtra," the Nationalist Congress Party leader added.
.@elonmusk, Maharashtra is one of the most progressive states in India. We will provide you all the necessary help from Maharashtra for you to get established in India. We invite you to establish your manufacturing plant in Maharashtra. https://t.co/w8sSZTpUpb— Jayant Patil- जयंत पाटील (@Jayant_R_Patil) January 16, 2022
Mr Sidhu tweeted:
I invite @elonmusk, Punjab Model will create Ludhiana as hub for Electric Vehicles & Battery industry with time bound single window clearance for investment that brings new technology to Punjab, create green jobs, walking path of environment preservation & sustainable development https://t.co/kXDMhcdVi6— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) January 16, 2022
Earlier, Telangana minister KT Rama Rao had invited the Tesla Inc's chief executive to set shop in his state and said that his government will be "happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges".
Mr Musk, in response to a tweet asking him about a potential India launch date, had not identified the "challenges" being worked on with the government.
Tesla had plans to begin selling imported cars in India last year and has been lobbying the government to lower import duties, which can be as high as 100 percent, on electric vehicles before it enters the market.
Elon Musk had tweeted last July that Tesla wanted to enter India "but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country".
Even as Tesla is holding out for a cut in import duties, luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz will start assembling the electric version of its flagship S-Class sedan, the EQS, in India later this year.