Come clean on Foxconn deal, opposition tells Maharashtra government
Mumbai, Oct 27 (IANS) The opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party on Thursday demanded clarification from the Maharashtra government on the proposed $5 billion investment by Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group.
State Congress President Ashok Chavan said the deal, signed on August 8, 2015, was billed as the single largest investment attracted by Maharashtra with a potential to create 50,000 jobs but came under the cloud from the very start.
“During Foxconn’s founder-chief Terry Gou’s visit to India at that time, he announced that the company will make $2 billion investment across the country. However, just two days later, the Maharashtra government signed a $5 billion investment agreement with the company,” Chavan said.
The former Chief Minister pointed out that he had, at that time, expressed apprehensions that the MoU with the Taiwanese global electronics giant could turn out to be controversial and he was proved right after a year.
“Despite tall claims and the Chief Minister’s (Devendra Fadnavis) foreign tours, no real investments have come to Maharashtra. During the Congress rule, we secured more foreign investments without resorting to ‘jumlas’ of this kind,” Chavan said.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said he was reiterating that most MoUs signed during the ‘Make in Maharashtra’ initiative of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government’s rule are ‘fake’ since the state did not announce with whom these were inked.
“Though Fadnavis is painting a glossy picture of the ‘Make in Maharashtra’ initiative, his and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project of Foxconn itself has not taken off,” Malik said.
Though officials remain tightlipped, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., Taipei, or Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of electronics, is believed to be having second thoughts on the mega project for which around 1,500 acres of land has already been cleared.
The ostensible reason for Foxconn’s backtracking is not getting enough customers to justify the huge investment, though state officials are optimistic that the company may only postpone the launch of its operations in Maharashtra.
Officials in the Chief Minister’s Office declined to comment on the developments that come as the alliance government prepares to celebrate on Monday (October 31) its two years in office in Maharashtra.
After the ‘Make in India’ Week in Mumbai in February, the state announced signing of deals involving investment of Rs 800,000 crore, or nearly half of the total commitments made during that event.
Later, Fadnavis set up a committee headed by Industry Minister Subhash Desai to ensure fructification of the MoUs signed.