Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gained more popularity among the people of the country due to the trust he built during the Covid-19 pandemic, Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday.

“The world wants that India remains a market and not a manufacturer,” Agarwal told Sruthijith KK, editor-in-chief, Mint, during the conversation.

The tycoon spoke on the Foxconn semiconductor plant which is being set up in Gujarat. “A complete ecosystem has to be created. We are just making fundamental raw materials. Setting up (the plant) in Gujarat has its own challenges. As we move forward, more doors will open”, he said.

“If we get the fundamental product, then each state will be able to design their own products according to their needs”. He added that proven technologies like automobile technologies and some chips required for laptop will be provided within two years of laying foundation stone.

When asked about what changes he has seen in terms of desire to facilitate business, bring in industry, and chase for complex projects like these, Agrawal says “The trust deficit has narrowed.”

On his collaboration with Foxconn and US, the Vedanta chief said, “It has been told in black-and-white that we do not want to deal with China, and the preferred place is India”.

On the recent controversy between Maharashtra and Gujarat over the Foxconn semiconductor plant, Agarwal said the one being set up in Maharashtra will be bigger than Gujarat. He, however warned against politicisation of the issue.

“Please don’t make it a political issue. India is one and let us make the raw material. Kuan khudega toh paani sabko milega (When a well is dug, everyone will get water”, he added.

“The world wants that India remain a market and not a manufacturer”, Agarwal said.

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