Union Min for Steel Kumaraswamy questions subsidies to US firm in Gujarat

The newly-appointed Union Minister asked why US-based semiconductor firm Micron Technology is set to receive 70% to 80% of its total investment in state subsidies for its Gujarat unit.
HD Kumaraswamy
HD Kumaraswamy
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Newly appointed Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Steel HD Kumaraswamy has asked why heavy subsidies—possibly as much as 2 billion USD–were granted to the US-headquartered semiconductor firm Micron Technology for its under construction unit in Gujarat. 

According to TOI, Kumarasamy raised his concerns at a televised meeting of JD(S) party workers after returning to Karnataka on June 14. While reportedly admitting that he is not authorised to do so, Kumaraswamy said that Micron Technology was set to receive Rs 3.2 crores in subsidies for every job it creates. The Minister further appears to have questioned why such a significant amount of national funds should be given to a US firm when there are small scale industries within India such as in Bengaluru-based Peenya industrial belt who had not yet received enough government aid, in his view.

The Gujarat unit of Micron Technology was announced in September last year and is coming up at the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation’s (GIDC) in Sanand. As Forbes India reported at the time, Micron has chosen Tata Projects to build the assembly and testing facilities. Forbes also reported that Micron will be investing a total of 2.75 billion USD in the Gujarat unit. 

During the June 14 meeting, Kumaraswamy reportedly pointed out that while Micron has said it would generate 5000 jobs, this would amount to approximately 2 billion USD in state subsidies that the firm could potentially receive. As the minister is said to have highlighted, that may chalk up to between 70% to 80% of the company’s total investment. TOI reports that Kumaraswamy also said at the meeting that he had questioned the relevant authorities on how such heavy subsidies could be “justifiable”. 

Kumaraswamy returned to Bengaluru on June 14 after his swearing-in as a Union minister and was given a massive welcome by JD(S) cadres. 

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