Modi Government Set to Recharge Nokia Sriperumbudur Plant

Blaming the UPA government for fiasco, PM Narendra Modi insists on the need to promote Make in India to create jobs.

Published: 04th March 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2015 09:36 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: In a glimmer of hope for the 8,000-odd retrenched workers of Nokia’s handset facility in Chennai and a fillip to local manufacturing, the Prime Minister on Tuesday disclosed his government’s intent to restart the Sriperumbudur plant.

Also Read: Modi Blames UPA for Nokia Plant Shut Down in Chennai

Narendra Modi was replying to 14 hours of riveting debate in the Rajya Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address to Parliament.

MODI.JPGThe Central government, the PM told the Upper House, was “making efforts to see that the Nokia unit in Chennai, which shut down last year, restarts soon”. Blaming the UPA government for the fiasco, he asserted that his government would try its best to get the plant up and running once again. “It was not because of us but because of policies of the previous government… We are trying to revive that facility,” the PM told the House, adding, “If we have to create jobs, we will have to promote the idea of Make in India. We will have to focus on infrastructure development.”

Also Read: Modi Hints at Changes in Land Bill, Vows to Meet Farmers' Concerns

Nokia’s Chennai plant, which is one of the largest in the world, was shut down due to a tax tussle with the State and the Centre on retrospective taxation and asset freeze.

Leaders of the Nokia India Employees Union, the representative body for the 8,000-odd workers of the plant, said on Tuesday that the PM’s assurance was an encouraging sign. “If the plant is actually reopened, either under Nokia or some other OMC, it would be a godsend for us,” said M Saravanakumar, president of the NIEU.

According to Saravanakumar, nearly all the workers rendered jobless by the closure of the plant still remain unemployed, primarily due to the lack of jobs suitable to their skill sets.

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