Laptop Prices In India Can Be Reduced By 60% If Chips Are Made In India: Vedanta Chairman
Recently a political storm erupted in Maharashtra, and it has to do with the state of Gujarat bagging the Vedanta-Foxconn’s new semiconductor plant.
Clearing the air, the Chairman of Vedanta, Anil Agarwal said that an independent agency selected Gujarat as a conducive location for the new plant.
An Independent Agency Has Awarded Project to Gujarat
He said that “The Gujarat site was selected by an independent agency and Foxconn. We also had two other consultants as experts, and they have been working for the last one-and-half month to go around all the places because they had a specific requirement of land, port, skilled people, the university to be around, etc. So, they recommended Gujarat”.
The MoU has been signed by Vedanta and Foxconn with the state of Gujarat in order to set up a semiconductor and manufacturing unit for which the firms would invest over Rs 1.54 lakh crore and create 100,000 job opportunities.
The funding for the chip plant in Gujarat would come from Vedanta, the listed entity.
As per the Chairman, it was important for the country to get the project, as currently only three countries — Korea, China and Taiwan — have semiconductor plants.
What does having a semiconductor plant do, you would ask. Well, once chips and glass are available in India, the cost of a laptop can fall from Rs 1 lakh to around Rs 40,000 per unit or less.
He added that “We will not be manufacturing laptops, mobile phones, etc., but we are going to create a cluster to encourage manufacturers”.
He said it was too early to give finer details of the venture, but all approvals were in place. “The first product should be out in the market in two years. The glass project, which will be 100 percent owned by Vedanta, and the semiconductor will be a joint venture with Foxconn”.
Though it would be Foxconn who would bring in the semiconductor products, Vedanta will be supporting and helping them provide the land, building equity/debt, government approvals, etc.
The company could also potentially look at entering the electric vehicle space, said Chairman.
The Lost Opportunity & Opposition Backlash in Maharashtra
As per Ambadas Danve, the Opposition leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Gujarat was not even in the picture as it were Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana who were competing for the project as the plant needs a high-end technology environment.
The Maharashtra government, however, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured the state would get a similar or even better project. State Industries Minister Uday Samant said Shinde had spoken to Modi on Tuesday after Gujarat bagged the project.
“The PM has assured the youth that a similar project, or a better one, will be given to Maharashtra,” Samant said, according to a PTI report.