Official maintains 'no duty cut' for Tesla after car maker approached for meeting
Last year, Tesla founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk had said that the company, which was earlier seeking a reduction in import duties to sell its vehicles in India
World's largest electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has approached the Indian government, an official said on Wednesday, maintaining that "no duty cut" was being contemplated at present as the country seeks to promote domestic manufacturing.
"They (Tesla) have approached us (for a meeting)," he said, adding that the company's earlier proposal of seeking duty cuts was not accepted as the government seeks to promote domestic manufacturing."Now, we do not know whether they are coming with the same proposal or bringing another proposal," the official said, requesting anonymity.
However, the official added that "no duty cut" was being contemplated at present by the Heavy Industries Ministry, which recommends such proposals to its finance counterpart for consideration. The comments assume significance in the backdrop of media reports of Tesla seeking a meeting with policymakers here.
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Last year, Tesla founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk had said that the company, which was earlier seeking a reduction in import duties to sell its vehicles in India, would not manufacture its products unless it is allowed to first sell and service its cars in the country.
In a tweet responding to a user asking about Tesla setting up a manufacturing plant in India, he stated, "Tesla will not put a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell & service cars".
Prior to that, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said if Tesla was ready to manufacture its electric vehicles in India then there was 'no problem' but the company must not import cars from China.
In August 2021, Musk said that American electric vehicle maker Tesla may set up a manufacturing unit in India if it first succeeds with imported vehicles in the country. He had said Tesla wanted to launch its vehicles in India "but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country!".
Currently, India imposes 100 per cent import duty on fully imported cars with CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value more than USD 40,000 and 70 per cent on those costing less than the amount.
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