Last year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had pulled off a coup of sorts when he announced that the Taiwanese telecommunication company, Foxconn, would set up a new manufacturing facility in Talegaon industrial area in Pune. However, now Foxconn seems to be eyeing the Konkan region to set up its operations, giving Pune a miss. Although, a year later, the land acquisition for the project had neared completion, there was no sign of the Taiwanese giant in Talegaon. This prompted an RTI enquiry by The Indian Express, according to which, now the company is scheduled to come up in Konkan and not in Pune.
Based in Taiwan, Foxconn technology group has a portfolio of clients like Apple, Blackberry, Amazon and Cisco. The company is famous for making iPhones for Apple and the buzz which went around was that iPhones would be made from Pune.
Around 1,500 acres of land in the Talegaon industrial area was to be allocated to the company to set up its manufacturing unit. In fact, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had accelerated the process of land acquisition in the region. Foxconn’s massive investment was looked at as the next big thing for Pune and was to herald another spurt of growth in the region.
RTI documents now show the Taiwanese company might just not come to Pune at all. Foxconn, according to the documents, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government to set up its manufacturing unit at Konkan region. The company is scheduled to invest Rs 30,000 crore and provide employment to 50,000 people. The company was one of the 486 companies that had signed MoUs during the special Make in India week last year.
The cumulative investment as promised in the MoUs was Rs 7,80,774.75 crore and a total of 22,00,412 jobs were expected to be created after the realisation of the investment.
While the company did not respond to an email query from The Indian Express, Apurva Chandra, principal secretary for the department of Industries, agreed to the possibility of the company being set up in Konkan. “It was always open. Currently, the thought process is Konkan” was his reply to the query.
The firm’s decision to move away from Pune was termed as ‘unfortunate’ by Anant Sardeshmukh, director general of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). “Foxconn would have opened up a new segment for the district in electronics manufacturing,” he said. Sardeshmukh said the land and supporting infrastructure might have been an issue which may have deterred the company to set up its unit in Pune. “The company would have required supporting infrastructure,” he said.