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'Doesn't matter who invests money, Indian youths should get employment': PM Modi on Elon Musk's Tesla entry

Earlier this month Musk had said that India, like every other country, should have electric cars and it will be a natural progression for his company to provide Tesla electric vehicles in India.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: April 15, 2024 18:55 IST
Elon Musk with PM Modi
Image Source : AP/FILE Elon Musk with PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an interview with a news agency, asserted he wants American electric car manufacturer, Tesla to invest in India but with a condition that it should provide employment opportunities to Indian youths. 

"I want investment to come in India. It doesn't matter who has invested money, but the sweat put into the work must be from our own people. The product should have the essence of our soil, so that our youth in the country will get employment opportunities," PM Modi said, during an interview with ANI. 

Why employment opportunities are crucial for India

Notably, Modi's response came days after the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report titled- 'India Employment Report 2024', which highlighted the country's soaring employment rate. 

As per the report, almost 83 per cent of the unemployed workforce and the share of youngsters with secondary or higher education in the total unemployed has almost doubled from 35.2 per cent in 2000 to 65.7 per cent in 2022.

Also, his statement came on the same day when a media report claimed Tesla would lay off more than 10 per cent of its global workforce. According to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Monday, the EV manufacturer grapples with falling sales and an intensifying price war for electric vehicles. The world's largest automaker by market value had 1,40,473 employees globally as of December 2023, its latest annual report shows. The memo did not say how many jobs would be affected.

Is Elon Musk a big fan of Modi? 

However, when the Prime Minister was asked about Musk publicly acknowledging that the latter was a fan of Modi, he soft-pedalled the question and asserted "Musk is a supporter of India". "Look, the first thing saying that Elon Musk is a supporter of Modi is one thing, basically, he is a supporter of India. And I just met him. It's not like that," he said.

Further, underscoring the dynamic market growth in the electric vehicle sector, the Indian Prime Minister emphasised that he was aware of the potential and invited companies to invest in India.

He also asserted that Indian consumers have adopted electric technology at a fast pace and said the sales rose from 2,000 in 2014 to 12 lakh in 2023-24.

From 2,000 EVs sold in 2014 to 12 lakh units in 2023-24 

"Not 2,000 units, but 12 lakhs units were sold in 2023-24. This means a network of such a big charging station has been created. It has helped the environment and we have made policies regarding this," said Modi. 

"We have told the world that India is moving very fast on EVs. If you want to do manufacturing, you should come," he added. This surge in EV sales can be attributed to factors like, government incentive schemes like PLIs, infrastructure development including EV charging points, increasing consumer interest, and government push to meet green targets. 

Also Read: Ahead of Elon Musk's India visit, Tesla explores showroom locations in New Delhi, Mumbai: Report

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