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Nokia plant in TN left as an 'orphaned child': Ravi Shankar Prasad

The factory was left out of the $7.2 billion deal that was signed between Microsoft and Nokia in 2014

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

today said the facility at near here, was left like an "orphaned child" and the Centre was "on the job" to make it operational.

Finland-based Nokia, one of the largest employers in Sriperumbudur, had provided jobs to 8,000 people when the facility was functioning with full capacity.

The factory was left out of the $7.2 billion deal that was signed between and in 2014.

"was left as an orphaned child.. I tried my best. You know took over Nokia but left the (due to double) taxing issue," the for and Justice, and said.

"We are trying to work it out," he told reporters at a organised event here.

Elaborating further, he said, "We (the government) were on the job.. We tried with one-two companies.. It did not work out.. Let me concertise and then disclose it to you.. But, we are on the job(to make it operational)."

On the proposal by Apple Inc., to set up a in the country, he said, the is in talks with them.

To a query, he said there were 40 lakh persons working "directly" in the IT industry and 1.30 crore employed "indirectly."


"I am very happy to tell you that one-third of them are women," he added.

He said the number of in the country has increased to 108 from two that were operating earlier.

"Now 108 have come up (across India) and about three lakh boys and girls are working directly and indirectly," he said.

On the Pradhan Mantri MUDRAYojana scheme, he said about Rs four lakh crore has been given to eight crore Indians in ticket sizes of Rs 10,000, Rs 50,000 Rs five lakh and Rs 10 lakh.

The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana scheme provides access to to small business units of various ticket sizes.

"50 per cent of them were first time entrepreneurs. Now, even if half of this eight crore Indians have added one job, there would be four crore new jobs," he said.

also said, the has decided to set up 23 BPO centres targetting skilled employees present in Tier II and III cities in

Nineteen BPOs were already operational in places like Coimbatore, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruchirapalli among others, he noted.

"In the BPO jobs the potential is 2,700 seats in total. Initial employment has been given to 2,500 people", he said.

Responding to another query, he said the has set up 2.70 lakh Common Service Centres that would provide nearly 300 digital services.

"About 10 lakh boys and girls are working.. Even you talk of BPO, they have started operating in places like Kohima, Imphal in the North East," he said.

On his interaction with the core members of Confederation of Indian Industry earlier,the members have come out with suggestions on GST and that he would look into it.

"What is important is, the larger objective of the (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi government, which is to perform, reform and deliver.. we (industry and government) have to work together to show that development," he said.

On the initiatives taken by his Ministry, he said he discussed the story of Digital India, Skill India, Start Up India, smart cities to themembers of CII, region.

"India's digital initiative is one of digital inclusion to bridge the divide between the digital haves and digital have nots. I also explained to them (members) about bankruptcy code, to GST, RERA. I also told them about how Moody's rating have made positive for India," he said.

Last month, the Moody's Investors Service raised India's sovereign rating for the first time in 13 years, saying growth prospects have improved with continued progress on economic and institutional reforms.

The US-based agency upped India's rating to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed its rating outlook to 'stable' from 'positive' saying the reforms will help stabilise rising levels of 'debt.

First Published: Mon, December 25 2017. 01:35 IST
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