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    Vedanta Inspecting Across Five States to Set Up their Semiconductor Plant

    Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Group has set up multiple teams to scout for suitable locations across five states to set up its semiconductor plant, according to a senior government official aware of the conglomerate’s plans.

    Last month, Vedanta said it planned to invest $8.4 billion in a chip manufacturing unit in partnership with Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn).

    “Vedanta has set up nearly 10 teams for this expedition. They’re visiting spots across five states now,” the official said.

    Besides Telangana, the company is also surveying sites in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh.

    The joint venture, first to be announced after the Centre laid out its semiconductor policy, will have Vedanta’s chief Anil Agarwal as chairman.

    According to a previous report, the company is targeting smartphones and electronics with the 28-nanometre (nm) fab and is looking at 70-80% domestic market sales, while the rest will be exported.

    A senior industry official aware of Vedanta’s efforts said the state that will bag the fabrication unit would leap ahead in terms of setting up what appears to be a fast-expanding industry cluster, offering jobs in thousands.

    “The semiconductor ecosystem, whichever state it comes up in, will be extremely valuable for the state. That particular state will have a serious head start in the high-tech sunrise industry. The two partners are extremely serious investors and this augurs well for our nation…,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association.

    In February, the Ministry of Electronics and IT said it received proposals from five companies to set up an electronic chip and display manufacturing plants with an investment of $20.5 billion.

    A Vedanta Foxconn joint venture, IGSS Ventures, and ISMC propose to set up electronic chip manufacturing plants with $13.6 billion investment and have sought the support of $5.6 billion from the Centre under the Semicon India Programme.

    Vedanta and another company, Elest, have submitted applications for setting up display fab projects with an investment of $6.7 billion. The fiscal support sought from the government is nearly $2.7 billion.

    Every state that Vedanta has approached runs investment promotion bureaus that prepare special incentive packages, including capital subsidy schemes, for the investors.

    After announcing the policy late last year, the Centre had operated a window till February 15 for applications.

    Union Minister for Electronics & IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw, had said the response from industry participants had been “superb,” despite the aggressive deadline.

    The interest among manufacturers for an indigenous chip factory is backed by a global supply shortage and India’s growing electronics manufacturing ecosystem.

    According to a recent response by the government to a question in Parliament, the chip shortage has led to a 5-7% average production loss in Indian industry, and that original equipment makers have been urged to bridge the gap on semiconductors.

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