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SIAM’s annual convention: Shift to green fuels or get ‘bulldozed’, Gadkari tells carmakers

According to the road transport and highways minister, a Cabinet note on electric vehicles is ready that will take care of charging stations.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: September 8, 2017 1:07 am
Nitin Gadkari, Nitin Gadkari car manufacturers, Green fuels, Car manufacturers, Alternative fuels, Electric Vehicles, SIAM convention, Business news, Indian Express Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday asked car manufacturers to move to alternative fuels (File)

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday asked car manufacturers to move to alternative fuels and said the government will soon bring in a policy on electric vehicles in the country. “We should move towards alternative fuel,” Gadkari said at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ convention in New Delhi. “I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you, I will bulldoze it.”

He said the government is determined to reduce imports and curb pollution in India. “We have seen in the past that despite the hike in taxes, demand for vehicles do not come down. This tells you something about the market for cars,” he said.

According to the road transport and highways minister, a Cabinet note on electric vehicles is ready that will take care of charging stations.

“Already, we are in the process of a Cabinet note where we are going to plan charging stations … It is in the last stage and will be done as early as possible,” he said, adding that the government will soon bring in a policy on electric vehicles.

Cautioning against any dilly-dallying tactics, he said the future is not of petrol and diesel, but of alternative fuel.

“I urge you (carmakers) politely to do research. First, when I urged you for electric vehicles, you said battery is costly. I coaxed you to start at least. Now, the batteries cost 40 per cent less. And if you start now, cost will be reduced further on mass production. Teething trouble is everywhere,” he explained.

The minister is clear that electric cars, buses, taxis and bikes are the future and India should move forward in this direction.

He sought to put the entire issue in perspective, saying imports and pollution are the twin problems as India’s import bill stood at a huge Rs 7 lakh crore per annum, a big drag on the economy.

“Now, the government has decided to start 15 industries for second generation ethanol. Ethanol can easily be produced from agro-based cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw, bagass and bamboo. Alternative fuel is import substitute, cost effective and pollution free,” Gadkari added.

He promised that the proposed vehicle scrapping policy stuck due to GST issues will be sorted out soon.

“Now, the GST Council is formed. We are preparing the note. I am going to the finance minister and after that, we will move this Cabinet note. In the GST Council, we will present the note and take opinion of stakeholders. There are some concessions we are expecting from state governments,” the minister said.

The government is planning 2,000 driving schools on two acres each and called on the industry to join hands to make the skill development dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi a big success.

(With inputs from PTI)

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  1. H
    Harminder Singh
    Sep 8, 2017 at 7:46 am
    Great the automobile industry is ng up and a couple of these illiterate senseless statements in the present scenario will definitely give incentives to pack up and leave.Its like every second day they wake up on the wrong side of the bed and out pops some scheme without taking In to consideration ground zero realities of real INDIA not the rich and super rich
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      Harminder Singh
      Sep 8, 2017 at 7:29 am
      Electric cars!! our villages have yet to be electrified so kill these rehotrics and get real improve the quality of fuel first don't put the cart before the horse and divert attention from the real issue QUALITY
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        Harminder Singh
        Sep 8, 2017 at 7:25 am
        First lower the cost of fuel which you chaps so cunningly raised and then ensure proper quality imports which you don't as it benefits you to pocket profits for yourself on substandard quality fuel which is the condition of this country SUBSTANDARD
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          ckm
          Sep 8, 2017 at 7:08 am
          If sound energy could be converted into power, there will be no power shortage. Our ministers all speak in the future tense. Past imperfect, present continuous and future indefinite.
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            Sarat Pattanayak
            Sep 8, 2017 at 6:03 am
            THIS MINISTER IS A HUMAN DYNAMO. A FEW MORE MINISTERS LIKE HIM CAN CHANGE THE FACE OF THE COUNTRY AND ITS ECONOMY. ONLY PROBLEM WITH HIM IS HIS MAHARASTHRA BIAS. HE SHOULD GIVE EQUAL EMPHASIS TO ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.
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              mtv
              Sep 8, 2017 at 7:26 am
              Rightly said.
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