Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday announced exemption of commercial vehicles, buses, taxis and all vehicles running on alternative fuel from the permit requirements.
This, Mr Gadkari said, will open more businesses for the industry.
The minister, who was the Guest of Honour at the 58th Annual Convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), an industry body representing India’s automobile sector, said any two wheeler can be run as a taxi in non-metro cities and this will provide large employment opportunities for young people.
“You can explore water transport, which will not only be economical but also provide open growth for the auto sector. We are adding more roads, highways and industry is benefitting from it. The government is ensuring seamless, faster traffic which will connect people and goods faster.
‘More access to fast track and electronic toll plaza is being given. We are also cancelling speed governors. We don’t need it as we are developing good roads. There is no need to limit the speed artificially,” said Mr Gadkari.
He also called upon the industry to look at diversification and new economically viable businesses.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan gave his insight on BS-VI emission norms and its benefit to the auto industry and assured that the government will ensure a level playing field for the industry.
He said the industry must ensure better models, engines and produce high performance vehicles. “Our government has given priority for development of bio-fuel. Our price centric mentality need to be cost and comfort centric,” he added.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, who was the Guest of Honour, said the auto sector was facing huge disruption as it moves from IC (Internal Combustion) engines to electric vehicles. He, however insisted that the auto sector must invest more on innovation and R&D.
“Let our R&D expenditure go beyond one per cent. Modern mobility, which is connected, shared and data driven will reduce carbon footprint. We have to plan this transition. And this has to be carefully managed. NITI Aayog is open to new ideas and suggestions,” Dr Kumar asserted.
He further informed that the NITI Aayog is finalising framework for auto industry and is coordinating with state governments to form a task force and come out with a paper for future mobility.
Speaking at SIAM’s Annual Convention, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Anant G Geete assured that the government would soon come out with the new auto policy.
“We understand your concerns on GST. There should be no fear in the mind of the industry.While we are going through a process of change, we also have to understand the need of the consumer. The new policy will be industry, consumer and environment friendly.It is important for us to move on and change according to time. If we don’t we will slip back. We are here to work and ensure growth of the industry,”
Mr Geete explained.
During the convention titled “Building the Nation, Responsibly”, the speakers highlighted the need for a long term regulatory and policy roadmap for India’s auto sector and moderating GST taxation, as it heads towards global transition to electric vehicle and future mobility.
Welcoming delegates, Dr Abhay Firodia, President, SIAM & Chairman, Force Motors urged the government to address the need for a long term regulatory policy roadmap for India’s auto sector and also moderate GST taxation.
He however stated that the implementation of GST has made taxation regime far more streamlined.
Dr Firodia said policies changed in adhoc manner, creates uncertainty in the industry and called for a 10-year policy roadmap of the sector which will give more sustainability and growth to the sector as vehicles are no more a luxury good and are important for driving economy.
He requested the government to help bring down multiplicity of organisation with which the sector have to deal with.
He said in just four years of moving from BS IV to BS VI emissions is very fast and given the fact that the industry today is far more complex, there is a need to build an ecosystem and the transition needs to be gradual than having a sudden disruption.
Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President, CII & Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises said India’s competitive weakness is struggling in design and product components in auto sector. “More has to be done for sustainability, safety, new value propositions, increased software components in car, in-depth alignment, working closely with supply chain, new technology and be future ready,” he argued.
Mr Rajan Wadhera, Vice President, SIAM & President – Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra while concluding the session stated that India’s auto sector has grown in size and stature and has plans to create 65 million additional jobs. However,the industry faces massive challenges but despite all odds, it is working hard with different stakeholders and the government to ensure sustainability and growth.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is a not-for-profit apex national body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India.