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Centre’s task force meets TN govt officials on reviving Nokia’s Chennai handset plant

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on August 21, 2015

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Representatives of the Fast Track Task Force for revival of mobile handset manufacturing industry, constituted under the Union Ministry of Communication and IT, met with the Tamil Nadu government officials to discuss restarting Nokia’s cell phone manufacturing facility near Chennai on Friday.

The Chairman of the Task Force, Pankaj Mohindroo, talking to media persons after the high-level meeting, said, “We broke the ice today with a meeting between State government and members of the Indian Cellular Association. This was the first such meeting after the Nokia plant closure, he said.

He was accompanied by Josh Foulger, co-chairman of the Task Force and Country Head & MD – Foxconn India. Mohindroo said they had met Industry Minister P Thangamani, Industry Secretary CV Sankar, and the IT Secretary TK Ramachandran, on options to revive Nokia’s production facility.

Nokia India was caught up in an income tax and commercial tax wrangle with the Centre and State government. This resulted in the plant being left out of the global deal when Microsoft acquired Nokia Corporation in 2014.

Mohindroo said the Tamil Nadu government and the Centre will come up with a revival package.

The task force is committed to create 15 lakh jobs from manufacturing of mobile phones. Nearly 10 per cent of this can happen in Tamil Nadu without any additional investment if the Nokia plant is revived. “There should be somebody else. We need to find that company,” he said.

State government sources said the meeting lasted for over an hour with both sides exchanging ideas on reviving the factory. However, no specifics were shared.

In a letter to State Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, last month, Mohindroo urged the government to constitute a Fast Track Committee under the Chief Secretary to support the revival of the industry.

The Task Force understands that closure of the plant has “sent shockwaves across the global manufacturing industry” and the State government is keen on rejuvenating the industry, he said in the letter.

Published on August 21, 2015
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