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HomeTechKarnataka opposition parties slam BJP govt over ‘proposed’ Foxconn investment

Karnataka opposition parties slam BJP govt over ‘proposed’ Foxconn investment

The opposition parties in Karnataka have slammed the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government in the State over the “announcement” of investment from Taiwan-based iPhone assembler Foxconn. 

Opposition parties such as the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) have alleged that the Bommai government has been misleading people by making the announcement hastily and has even termed it a publicity stunt and photo opportunity. 

Chief Minister Bommai took to Twitter on Saturday to announce that the government has signed an agreement with electronics major Foxconn.

He wrote that after a detailed discussion with the company’s chairman, Young Liu, the company would be making a “major investment” in the State and 300 acres of land would be allocated near Bengaluru International Airport. This will also create 1 lakh jobs in the state, he added. However, it was not mentioned if the jobs would be through direct employment. 

However, reports emerged that while Foxconn had confirmed that its chairman had visited India, it denied entering into any binding, definitive agreements. This came after reports surfaced about Foxconn’s plans to invest $700 million in a new plant in India to ramp up local production. 

‘Went on an overdrive’

Priyank Kharge, spokesperson of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, told businessline, “A letter of intent is not the same as a sure-shot agreement or investment. The ruling government jumped the gun too soon and went on an overdrive to announce the investment and job creation, which is misleading the people of the State.” 

It reflects poorly on the State when the company goes ahead and makes a statement that there is no definitive agreement. Companies usually prefer to maintain secrecy on such investment agreements until they are completely finalised, he added. 

‘Photo opportunity’

Similarly, Tanveer Ahmed, a spokesperson for JDS, said, “The investment was more of a photo opportunity to show the people of Karnataka that the government is actively getting investments. They have forgotten the procedure of deliberation before finalising investments.”

Indian EV makers have been investing in Tamil Nadu instead of Karnataka as the environment is not conducive in the state. The government should instead focus on these investments that can be made in the state, he added. 

This comes as the State is set to enter assembly polls in April or May, and the ruling government has been trying to showcase Karnataka as an investment destination. Sources close to the development said the State’s industries ministry is in active talks with Foxconn to resolve the issue and clarify about the investment.

“The issue may have stemmed due to misinterpretation. The company was affirmative on the investment when its team visited Bengaluru; they even visited the land near the airport that would be allocated,” the sources said.

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