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Telangana minister KTR urges Elon Musk to set up shop in state

New Delhi: Industry and commerce minister of Telangana KT Rama Rao (KTR) has invited Tesla Inc’s chief executive Elon Musk to set shop in his state, a day after the tech billionaire said his electric vehicle (EV) company was facing a “lot of challenges” in launching its cars in India.

“Hey Elon, I am the Industry & Commerce Minister of Telangana state in India. Will be happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges to set shop in India/Telangana,” Mr Rao said in a reply to Mr Musk’s tweet.

“Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives & a top notch business destination in India,” he added.

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Musk’s tweet drew sharp criticism from the government. A source told ET, “With such tweets, Tesla is trying to put pressure on the government, and this is not the first time.” The source added that Musk was looking to get the government to reduce import duties without committing to produce Teslas in India.

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Musk has been pushing for his cars in India since 2019. Talks between the American electric-vehicle pioneer and Centre have led to an impasse over a local factory and the country’s import duties of as much as 100%.

Musk last month had tweeted that import duties in India are among the highest in the world and the nation treats clean energy vehicles the same as petrol, which isn’t consistent with its climate goals. The billionaire has said a factory in India is “quite likely” if the California-based carmaker can first test the waters by importing vehicles.

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