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Bringing semiconductor sector to India is ‘strategic’

Union Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday (Jun 15) said bringing the semiconductor sector to India is “strategic”, saying he was misquoted on earlier comments about a US company’s investment in the sector.

The minister for steel and heavy industries clarified his purported comment about the US-based semiconductor firm Micron Technology getting subsidies for every job created in the western state of Gujarat.

“Bringing semiconductor sector in India is strategic, we require it. Parallelly, we have to create jobs for the second-line sector, our small-scale industry…We are thinking about it and working out on it,” said the Indian minister on Saturday.

The comment came after a report by the Times of India on Friday (Jun 14) said that Kumaraswamy ‘wondered aloud’ if India needed investments like Micron Technology.

The US-based firm is investing $2.5 billion in Gujarat and potentially receiving Rs 3.2 crore ($383,003) in subsidies for every job it creates, Kumaraswamy reportedly said.

“The new manufacturing unit will generate about 5,000 jobs. For this, we are giving them $2 billion in subsidies…If you calculate, that’s 70% of the company’s total investment,” TOI quoted him as saying, during an address to party workers in his native state of Karnataka in the south.

He added, “I asked officials how justifiable it is to allocate such a significant amount of funds. Conversely, there are small-scale industries…in Peenya (an industrial area in Bengaluru) there are small-scale industries. How many lakhs of jobs have they created? What benefits have we provided to them?”

Kumaraswamy later clarified that he was not authorised to disclose this information, the TOI report said.

‘I have to be very cautious’
When asked about his comments, the Union Minister, on Saturday said, “I have been misquoted. I have not mentioned any state. Why has my statement been picked up like this? I have to be very cautious in the future.”

According to the media report, Kumaraswamy also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the portfolios assigned to him and said that he would focus on creating employment opportunities for the youth, during the address to party workers. WIONews

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