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While India is waffling over terms for Tesla, several states are courting Musk | Business and financial news

At least four states tweeted to Elon Musk over the weekend to set up shop with them after he highlighted government issues.

By Bloomberg

Politicians from at least four Indian states took to Twitter to invite Tesla Inc. to set up shop in their provinces, a few days after billionaire founder Elon Musk said the American electric car pioneer still faces a lot of challenges with the national government.

The sites tweeted over the weekend talked about everything from infrastructure, sustainability and a streamlined approval process. They were made from different parts of India - Telangana in the south, Maharashtra in the west, Punjab in the north and West Bengal in the east.

Musk and the Indian government have been in negotiations for years, but disagreement over a local factory and import duties has led to a stalemate, meaning Tesla still does not sell cars in India, three years after showing a particular intent. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration wants Tesla to set up a factory to sell locally and export, Musk has insisted on cutting import duties by as much as 100% so Tesla can establish a market first.

All states that invited Tesla to launch operations are controlled by parties opposed to the Modis Bharatiya Janata party, which controls the federal government.

Establishing car factories in India can be difficult even for local businesses without state aid as bureaucracy, land acquisition and labor rights remain a constant challenge. In 2008, Tata Motors Ltd., run by India's largest conglomerate, was forced to abandon an almost complete plant in West Bengal after violent protests from farmers against land acquisition, which prevented their attempt to build the Nano, the world's cheapest car, into state.

"Let go here, we in West Bengal have the best infra, and our leader @MamataOfficial has got the vision. Bengal means business," tweeted Ghulam Rabbani, West Bengal's Minister for Minority Affairs and Madrassah Education to Musk on Saturday. at the head of a campaign demanding that Tata Motors return the land acquired by the provincial government to farmers who were unwilling to give it up.

India, the world's fourth largest car market and home to more than 1.3 billion people, is an attractive offer for electric car manufacturers, but its roads are still dominated by cheap petrol and diesel cars manufactured by the local units of Suzuki Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. The country has promised to turn net carbon to zero by 2070, but electric vehicles are still out of reach for most buyers in the country, with people earning less than $ 2,000 a year on average.


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