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The auto industry suffered a loss of Rs 4,000 crore in 8 months following the ban on sale of diesel vehicles in engine capacity of 2,000cc and above in Delhi/NCR, SIAM President Vinod Dasari said today. The Supreme Court, however, had earlier this month lifted the ban on the registration of such diesel vehicles with one per cent environment cess.
Speaking at the 58th Annual Session of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Dasari said it was “improper information” supplied to the courts which led to the ban on diesel vehicles. “Led by media hype, provided with improper information, the courts decided to ban those vehicles which actually meet the standards set by the government. It is for the first time that when you meet the law you actually get penalised. The auto industry has lost Rs 4,000 crore in the last eight months,” the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) president said.
He said that everyone wanted to regulate the auto industry without looking at the real cause of pollution. The Supreme Court had on December 16, 2015 banned the registration of diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of 2000cc and above in Delhi/NCR, citing concerns with regard to increasing air pollution in the national capital.
“It’s a matter of great pride that the auto sector provides 30 million jobs and accounts for 50 per cent of the manufacturing GDP and yet it is rather sad when there is congestion, then auto industry is blamed; when there is pollution, auto industry is blamed and when there is an accident auto industry is blamed,” Dasari said.
Dasari, MD of Ashok Leyland, added: “I feel everyone wants to regulate the auto industry. Let’s take the Delhi example. Every winters when there is fog, there is a lot of media hype, lots of NGOs get involved and they blame one industry; everyone wants to blame auto industry.” He said that less than 20 per cent pollution comes from the auto industry.
He added that the auto industry has several times asked the government to ban old vehicles if it wants to reduce pollution. “Ban vehicles that cause pollution,” Dasari said. He further said the move to ban would not help in reducing pollution in the capital. “After all of this what happened. There is environmental cess, for vehicles that are larger than 2,000 cc, of 1 per cent. People who buy such vehicles… are they going to stop buying these due to this one per cent cess? Is that going to have an impact on Delhi pollution?” Dasari noted.
He said the auto industry needs to work on its rebuilding it’s image. “I see it as a challenge, this is where the auto industry and components industry will have to work together to rebuild our image to provide right kind of feedback,” Dasari said.