Firms showing interest to invest in manufacture of electric vehicles: Minister

State's electric vehicle policy eyes investment of Rs 31K crore, 55,000 jobs

Firms showing interest to invest in manufacture of electric vehicles: Minister

Domestic and foreign companies are in talks with the state government to set up electric vehicle and battery manufacturing units under the Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy, Industries Minister R V Deshpande said on Thursday.    

"No other state in India has a policy for electric vehicles. It has been well-received. For instance, a Chinese company has initiated talks with the government," Deshpande said.

The government is also in talks with two other companies that are exploring setting up electric vehicle manufacturing units. "One of them has come with a Rs 1,600-crore proposal," the minister said. He refused to name the companies, fearing other states would poach them.

In September, the state government unveiled its Electric Vehicles and Energy Storage Policy that aims to attract an investment of Rs 31,000 crore in the sector and create jobs for 55,000 people.

The government is working on an action plan to make Bengaluru the hub of electric vehicle use. Deshpande said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will convene a meeting of key stakeholders on Friday in this regard.

"We want to put Bengaluru and Karnataka on the world map as far as electric vehicle use is concerned," he said. "We will also discuss the infrastructure that has to be created in Bengaluru."

The Union Transport Ministry wants India to transform into an all-electric vehicle market by 2030. "This will require support from various departments and all of them have to be brought on board for a time-bound implementation," Deshpande said.

'Cut GST on hybrid vehicles'

The Centre has also announced a National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, which targets sales of 6-7 million hybrid and electric vehicles year-on-year, 2020 onwards. But Deshpande rued that GST rate on hybrid vehicles was too high. "It is 42-43% now and it has to be reduced. We are taking this up with the Centre," he said.

Deshpande said commerce and industry in the state were hit since the implementation of GST from July 1. "But ultimately, GST will be a gamechanger. There will be problem till the whole thing stabilises. However, the Centre had to be more careful while fixing tax rates," he said.

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