UPA Govt to blame for Nokia's TN exit: State Industries Minister

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018

The previous Congress-led Government at the Centre is responsible for Nokia India exiting from manufacturing operations in Tamil Nadu, said the State Industries Minister, P. Thangamani, in the Assembly today.

Intervening during a debate on the demand for grants to the Department of Labour and Employment, he said the retrospective income tax claim by the Centre in 2012 led to a legal tussle in the Supreme Court between the Finnish company and the Income Tax department. This resulted in the factory at Sriperumbudur near Chennai being left out of the global deal when Microsoft acquired Nokia.

The Tamil Nadu Government had intervened with the Nokia management on behalf of the workers. However, the workers who faced an uncertain future opted for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme announced by the company with benefits ranging from ₹3 lakh to ₹10 lakh. It was due to the state government’s support that at least 900 workers were retained by Nokia and are being paid wages even if they do not have work, the Minister said.

The intervention by the Minister followed A. Soundararajan, a CPI-M member, saying in his address that over 8,000 jobs had been lost at Nokia alone and over 20,000 jobs including those in vendor units catering to Nokia. When signing investment agreements with companies, the state government should provide measures to protect jobs in these companies which get huge concessions through these agreements, said the member who also heads the Nokia India Employees Union.

The Minister said that it would not be necessary for such provisions as companies investing thousands of crores are here to stay for the long run. The government had competed aggressively to attract investment from Nokia but it has not extended any commercial tax concession to the company, he asserted.

Published on July 11, 2014

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