Industry

Govt may release draft auto policy in two months: Geete

Anant Geete, Minister for heavy industries and public enterprises.

Anant Geete, Minister for heavy industries and public enterprises.   | Photo Credit: G R N SOMASHEKAR

The minister said suggestions from all stakeholders will be taken in order to come up with an industry and consumer-friendly policy.

The government is working on a new “foolproof” policy for the automobile sector to address issues raised by the industry, particularly related to tax rates, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete said on Thursday.

“With regards to taxation, we get a lot of different representations… That is why we have decided that that we will bring out a new foolproof auto policy which will be industry and consumer friendly,” the minister said speaking at the inauguration of the 14th Auto Expo. He added that suggestions from all stakeholders will be taken to formulate the policy.

The minister’s comment came after Abhay Firodia, President, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), who was sharing the dias with the Minister, highlighted lack of uniform taxation. Further pointing out that Indian automakers have been given only 4 years to shift to BS VI, he added, "premature, immature" introduction can lead to significant costs.

While the minister admitted that there has been a rush in moving to BS-VI emission norms, he said the industry must be ready to accept the challenge of change and adopt new technologies. “Everyone is concerned about the environment…and want eco-friendly products. For that we need to invest in technology…but at the same time we need to male products affordable for consumers. It’s a challenge that we will work on,” he said.

He assured the industry that the government will support them, “There should not be fear in the mind of the industry and whatever changes that come will happen in a gradual manner.”

“We want to bring some change in the present taxation criteria and all these points will be included in this policy after discussions with the industry…We want that the industry and the consumer should not see tax as a burden, ” Mr Geete said, adding that the draft of the new policy may be ready in the next two months.

Mr Firodia said despite roll out of GST, there isn’t a uniform taxation due to local taxes at state level, requesting that the Centre must take steps to get rid of "Permit Raj".

He further said countries usually allow 10 years or more to the industry when moving to one standard to another unlike in India where the date of implementation of BS VI norms was brought forward to 2020, giving automakers just 4 year to make this shift.

“But developing BS VI engines, when there are none, is a long process…while the green groups are right in saying that we want to get to BS VI, any kind of premature, immature introduction could lead to significant costs…It is something which has to be done in a mature, patient, calculated, sober manner, and not in a hurry,” Mr Firodia.

Firodia also asked the Government not to write off diesel engines post BS VI implementation.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 1:18:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/govt-may-release-draft-auto-policy-in-two-months-geete/article22692322.ece

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