Press Trust of india

Bluestar to wait till FY18 end for Jammu project future

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Kolkata, Mar 22: Air-conditioning and refrigeration company Bluestar Ltd would wait till March 31, 2018, for a response from the Jammu and Kashmir government for extending fiscal incentives for its proposed greenfield unit in the state.

If the J&K government failed to grant any fiscal benefits, the company would shift the project, with a potential of direct employment for 300 and indirect employment for 500, to its other greenfield site at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh, joint managing director B Thiagarajan said.

"We took the land from J&K government on lease in 2016 on getting affirmation from the GST Council that Blue Star will get fiscal incentives after the GST came into effect in 2017," Thiagarajan said.

After the GST was implemented from July 2017, the company had not received any feedback from the state government, he said.

"We can't wait for an indefinite period. We have decided to wait till March 31, 2018, post which the project will be shifted to Sri City," Thiagarajan told reporters here.

The J&K project envisaged a production capacity of 2.5 lakh units of room air-conditioners per annum, similar to that proposed at Sri City, where operations would commence in the near future, he said.

The estimated investment for the twin projects was Rs 220 crore, he said.

"Our target is to take the room AC manufacturing capacity from 5.5 lakh now to 11.5 lakh (units) to meet the growing demand by 2020," he said.

The room AC segment was the highest revenue generating business for Blue Star.

With a market share of 11.5 per cent in calendar year 2017, the company was aiming at a rise of one per cent share in 2018 and 15 per cent by December 2020.

Thiagarajan said that the Sri City plant would cater to the markets of the southern Indian states.

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