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Vedanta Group’s USD 10 billion LCD project likely to be scrapped

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2019
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Vedanta Group’s project to set up India’s first plant to make flat panel displays for televisions from scratch worth USD 10 billion is likely to be scrapped after failing to obtain subsidies under the government’s Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS).

The application was turned down by the Ministry of Electronics and IT as it did not meet conditions.

Vedanta Group company Twin Star Display Technologies was expecting a 25 percent capital subsidy and reimbursements of duties and taxes under M-SIPS. These incentives once approved were to be available for a period of 10 years. The company had also inked a technology licensing agreement with LG Electronics for providing technology for the proposed plant.

The government is trying to promote localisation of TV panel manufacturing under the Make in India initiative. However, this was the only project at an advanced stage of implementation, while other proposals are said to be under evaluation.

To qualify for M-SIPS, a project needed to have land ownership besides including details of manufacturing plans and the technology being used in the application.

The Maharashtra state government had reserved 200 acre of land parcel for the project and another 150 acre was earmarked for ecosystem partners near Nagpur. However, the land was yet to be transferred to the Twin Star Display Technologies since the state’s fabrication policy does not allow allotment of land until the Centre clears any subsidies sought.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved Twin Star’s foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal worth Rs 9,000 crore in 2017.

The project investment will be through a combination of equity, compulsorily convertible debentures, compulsorily convertible preference shares and other FDl compliant instruments.

The company was suppose to make an investment to the tune of USD 10 billion over the next 10 years.  Of this, USD two billion was for phase-I. The phase-I would have seen production of about eight million television panels, meeting 40-50 percent of domestic demand.

The project would have created direct and indirect jobs for 50,000 persons at its peak.


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