Concerned over the steep fall in commercial vehicle sales during the current fiscal,heavy industries minister Praful Patel has asked finance minister P Chidambaram to withdraw the 3 per cent additional excise duty levied on SUVs in Budget 2013-14.
Patel,in a letter to the finance minister,pointed out that SUVs,used as mass transport in rural and semi-urban areas,are a necessity in such areas given the poor roads.
In light of the negative growth in the industry in the current year,I appeal to you to withdraw this additional duty. However,if imposing this duty is entirely unavoidable on account of revenue and subsidized price of diesel,may I request you to exempt all such vehicles classified as SUV that have an assessable value of up to Rs 10 lakh, Patel wrote.
In Budget 2013-14,it was proposed to increase excise duty from 27 per cent to 30 per cent on all vehicles having 1500 cc and above engine,above four meter length,and 170 mm and above ground clearance.
The heavy industry minister said that though vehicles,which are mostly diesel,expensive and high-end,may have been the reason for imposing the additional levy to compensate for losses due to subsidized diesel fuel,with the rate of diesel being progressively increased,it would be a good gesture to the industry if a statement is made that this additional 3 per cent excise duty on SUVs would be removed next year.