To break his silence about India’s plans, Elon Musk has said that Tesla will not manufacture cars in India unless it is allowed to sell and service its electric vehicles.

On Starlink, he said that SpaceX is still waiting for the approval of the Indian government.

“Tesla will not place a manufacturing plant in a place where we are not allowed to sell and service cars first,” Musk tweeted.

He responded to a user who asked about the company’s manufacturing plans for India.

In response to another follower on Starlink, he said: “We are waiting for government approval”.

Union ministers, particularly the Minister of Road Transport and Highway, Nitin Gadkari, keep returning to Musk to come and manufacture electric cars in India.

The Musk team hired in India last year has now been redirected to focus on the Middle East and the major Asia-Pacific markets.

The move by Tesla appears to be a retaliation, as the Indian government has not accepted Musk’s demand to reduce import duties on Tesla vehicles.

From Telangana’s Industry Minister, KT Rama Rao, to Maharashtra Minister and State NCP President Jayant Patil, several Indian leaders have repeatedly appealed to Musk to bring Tesla to India, but without success.

During ‘Raisina Dialogue 2022’ last month, Gadkari said that if Musk wants to manufacture in China and sell Tesla cars here, “it may not be a good proposal for India”.

“Our request to him is to come to India and manufacture here. We have no problems. The suppliers are available, we offer all kinds of technology, and because of that, Musk can reduce costs.

“India is a huge market and also offers good export opportunities. Musk can export Tesla cars from India,” he told the audience.

Earlier in February, Gadkari had said Musk must first manufacture in India in order to roll out Tesla cars on the roads.

Musk had tweeted that he was facing challenges from the government to release his products in India. “Tesla is not yet in India because of ‘Challenges with the Government,'” he wrote.

Currently, India charges 100 percent tax on imported cars at a price of more than $ 40,000 (Rs 30 lakhs), including insurance and shipping costs, and cars less than $ 40,000 are subject to 60 percent import duty.

Musk has said he wants to launch cars in India, but the country’s import duties on electric cars are “by far the highest in the world”.

Meanwhile, the SpaceX satellite internet service Starlink is available in 32 countries, up from 25 countries reported earlier this year.

In India, the government had asked Starlink to stop “booking / reproducing the satellite internet service” in the country without a license.

Sanjay Bhargava, India’s director of Starlink, resigned earlier this year due to government pressure.

The Elon Musk-owned company also informed some people in the country that it will refund their pre-orders.