Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Praful Patel, on Thursday, pitched for a stimulus package for the auto industry which has been struggling with declining sales. He said he would take up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

“We are concerned about the auto sales (decline). I am going to take up the issue with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister...we need to give some kind of booster dose to the auto industry,” Mr. Patel said on the sidelines of a function organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) here.

“Ultimately, it is one of the largest employers, and it contributes almost 25 per cent of manufacturing GDP,” he noted.

The minister said, “I feel a lot of auto companies are under stress, and they are laying off some people. This is not something we should allow to continue for long, and there is a need to arrest the decline and take some measures.”

Further, in the wake of two major steel companies scrapping multi-billion dollar projects in the country, Mr. Patel called for “introspection”, saying “Posco and Arcelor plants not going ahead is not a good sign for us. This would create both in India and abroad an impression that in India we have many constraints for new manufacturing.”