TN Governor announced that a team was holding talks with Foxconn in Taiwan

Two years after closure will Nokia plant near Chennai be revived
news Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 12:59

Spelling out the policies of the AIADMK government in his customary address to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, Governor K. Rosaiah on Thursday announced that serious efforts were being taken to revive the Nokia plant at Sriperumbudur near Chennai.

Nokia, once the largest producers of mobile phones, shut down its Sriperumbudur plant in November 2014, with around 15,000 people losing their jobs.

In his address, Rosaiah said a team was holding talks with Foxconn in Taiwan and that efforts to revive the Nokia plant had been taken up with the Centre at the highest level.

Foxconn had also suspended its manufacturing operations in Chennai in December 2014 after a fall in orders from Nokia.  

The Finland-based mobile handset manufacturer was bought over by global software major Microsoft in April 2014. But Microsoft was unable to take possession of the Sriperumbudur plant due to legal battles over tax dispute with both the Central government and the state government.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had on Tuesday presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a 29-point memorandum in New Delhi which included reviving the manufacturing facility. In the memorandum, Jayalalithaa said, “The Government of India would have to facilitate the defreezing of Nokia’s assets, frozen by an order of the Delhi High Court in an Income Tax case, by arranging for the proceeds of the sale/lease transaction to be paid into a separate escrow account to meet the final tax liabilities.”

In her 50-minute meeting with the Prime Minister, she requested him to directly intervene in the Nokia issue, stating that the plant’s revival would restore jobs to thousands of people. “Your direct intervention is essential to ensure that the Income Tax authorities support the initiative of the State Government to revive a global manufacturing facility and restore the Electronic Manufacturing Hub at Sriperumbudur,” she stated in the memorandum.  

Tamil Nadu had won the bid for the Nokia plant after joint-efforts from the then Union Minister of Information and Technology Dayanidhi Maran and the AIADMK government.The Nokia facility started production in 2006 and was touted as the largest manufacturing plant outside Europe.