The tussle between Indian officials and Tesla to reach a common ground on various aspects including tax duty has delayed the automaker’s debut plan in India.
The finance ministry of India is not considering to tax waivers for billionaire Elon Musk-led electric vehicle maker Tesla, Reuters reported on Thursday quoting Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra. The news follows Musk’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month where the Tesla chief said he is confident that his automobile company will make a debut in the country soon.
“Any duty waiver for Tesla is not under active consideration of the Department of Revenue, as of now,” Secretary Malhotra told the media organization. The tussle between Indian officials and American automaker to reach a common ground on various aspects including tax duty has delayed the automaker’s debut plan in India. In May last year, the company said to put a hold on its expansion plans in the country after it failed to secure lower import taxes from the government. Following this, Tesla also abandoned a search for showroom space and reassigned some of its domestic team.
However, Reuters reported in May that the EV company held discussions with Indian officials about incentives offered by the country for its cars and battery manufacturing as it proposed to set up a production facility in the country for the domestic sale and export of its electric cars. In the following month, Musk’s meeting with PM Modi reiterated Tesla’s debut plans in the country.
Tesla chief said that the automaker will make a debut in the country “as soon as humanly possible” and added that “India has more promise than any large country in the world.” Musk then said that he is hopeful that they will be able to “announce something in the not too distant future.”
Apart from seeking lower taxes, Tesla last year also demanded to first test the demand in the country by selling its cars imported from its existing production hubs in the U.S. and China but the discussions ended in a deadlock. Musk said at the time that Tesla “will not put a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell & service cars.”