PM to inaugurate Nokia plant in TN next year
Global mobile giant Nokia is on schedule to commence manufacturing at its maiden plant here in the first half of next year.
Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran told visiting newspersons here today that the Rs 650-crore facility was expected to become operational before April 2006 considering the rapid progress since the ground-breaking ceremony in July 2005.
”When the facility goes operational, a mobile phone will be manufactured every second.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the facility with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi also participating in the function, he added.
Nokia would have chosen Goa as its investment destination in 1994. But due to the efforts taken by him and the UPA Government at the Centre, it opted for Chennai, Mr Maran claimed.
Elaborating, he said the Finnish company’s decision to establish this plant, spanning over three lakh sq ft, one of the largest facilities in the country, fructified after the formation of the inter-Ministerial Joint Task Force under the Chairmanship of Telecom Secretary. Bangalore and Noida had also been considered by Nokia before the company decided on Chennai.
This temple town, about 40 km away from Chennai, would no longer be considered just a manufacturing hub for auto companies but a manufacturing centre for telecom also. ”I am confident that telecom giants like Motorala and Ericsson will come soon.” Mr Maran said Nokia was a big contender for ensuring that BSNL and MTNL achieve the 60 million mobile phone base, with the policy having a clause of manufacturing networks being within India.
To a question, he said the handset pricing was market driven. In a voice-driven market with India having the lowest tariff, certainly it was possible to have ”lowest-priced” handsets.
Besides providing employment to 2,000 people, at least 10,000 people would stand to get indirect employment when the facility is completed.
Nokia Corporation Operations and Logistics Senior Vice-President Raimo Puntala said the company was on course with its plan to start operations in the first half of 2006.
Expressing satisfaction over the progress being made in the construction of the plant, he attributed it to support from the Centre and the State government