Maharashtra Government Freezes 3 MoUs signed with Chinese companies

Maharashtra Government Freezes 3 MoUs signed with Chinese companies

The Maharashtra Government signed a total of 12 MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) on June 15 as part of the Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0 investor’s meet held via video conferencing. Of the 12 companies that signed an MoU with the state, three were from China. 

Following border tensions between India and China shortly after the conclusion of the investor’s meet, the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government in the state decided to put the MoUs signed with the Chinese companies on hold. 

The June 15 meeting also included investors from countries like the U.S., South Korea, Singapore, as well as local Indian businesses. While the state has frozen the aforementioned three MoUs, Minister for Industries & Mining, Subhash Desai has said that the government is currently processing the remaining 9 MoUs from other potential investors.

“The decision has been taken in consultation with the Union government. These were signed prior (to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers on the Indo-China border). The ministry of external affairs has advised not to sign any further agreements with Chinese companies,” Desai said.

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Chinese firms like Great Wall Motors (GWM), as well as PMI’s joint venture with fellow Chinese company Foton have been frozen as a result of this. Hengli Engineering is also going to be impacted with the company recently proposing a Rs 250 crore agreement for a Phase II expansion at its Talegaon unit. It was said at the time that this project would generate up to 150 jobs. 

GWM had committed to spending $1 billion in a phased manner and had expected to generate up to 3,000 jobs over a period of time. The company had recently acquired a manufacturing plant at Talegaon from GM (General Motors). The idea was to produce SUVs and electric cars at this “highly automated” unit, the company said after the MoU was signed. 

There appears to be a sense of unity between the State and the Centre with regard to the cross border dispute that led to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers. At Friday’s all-party meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray showed his support for the centre’s stance. 

“Our government has the ability to give a befitting reply. We are all one. This is the feeling. We are with you, PM. We are with our forces and their families,” Thackeray said at the meeting.

China has failed to divulge information on the casualties suffered on its side, though some reports predict nearly 40 Chinese soldiers may have been killed during the Galwan Valley clashes.