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gst: Govt looking into auto industry’s demand for temporary GST cut

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Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Prakash Javadekar said the government is examining the automobile industry’s recommendation for a reduction in GST rates by 10% across all categories of vehicles and a decision will be arrived at in some time.

Javadekar who was speaking at the 60th Annual Convention of industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said he will discuss the industry’s suggestion for a temporary reduction in GST with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister. “Details of the proposal are being worked out by the FM. For two-wheelers, three-wheelers, public transport and then four-wheelers…in that order relief should come. Hope you will get good news very soon.”

Javadekar also added that the government has received all inputs from stakeholders and is ready with an incentive-based vehicle scrappage policy and an announcement will be made ‘very soon’.

The auto industry is rooting for a reduction in GST rates, timely introduction of the vehicle scrappage policy to revive demand post the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Vehicle sales in the local market have declined 75% to 1.49 million units in Q1FY21.

Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal are set to speak at the event later in the day Friday.

SIAM president Rajan Wadhera said the industry would need a ‘real hard step’ to improve demand and they desperately need the government to step in with incentives as soon as possible, then only the Indian market will be regain its previous peak of FY-19 by FY-24, underlining how the economic slow down coupled with pandemic Covid-19 had dealt a body blow on the Indian automotive industry.

The industry association also pleaded to the government on deferring some of the critical regulations on Corporate Average Fuel Economy Norms or CAFE, RDE regulation (Real Driving Emission testing) and forthcoming safety regulations as they would further add to the cost and hurt sentiment.

Wadhera said, the Indian passenger vehicle and two wheeler makers have already come on par with European standards in terms of emission with the BS VI and also in terms of safety any more regulations will further lead to cost pressure post pandemic.

“We should not have an overdose of regulation which will add to the vehicle cost and hurt affordability of the consumers,” added Wadhera.

The average sales in the first five months of FY-21 is at almost 50% of the previous year, so there is a significant pent up demand in the market and with the push on personal mobility which is increasingly turning from a ‘luxury into a necessity’ in the Indian market, addressing supply chain bottlenecks will be very critical ahead of the government support, reckoned experts.

Uday Kotak, MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank who is also the president of CII said bankers are ready, willing and eager to extend loans to the prospective buyers and he urged the automakers to get the supply chain resolved.

“There has been a very sharp reduction in interest rates post Covid, availability of funds is not an issue. Banks are ready to lend for two wheelers, cars or trucks, wherever there is a demand. With the government taking steps, there may be a sharp increase in demand, the auto industry should insure that there are no supply chain issues,” asserted Kotak.

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GM withdraws support for Trump’s emissions lawsuit against California

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President Donald Trump delivers remarks at American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan with General Motors CEO Mary Barra and other auto industry executives on March 15, 2017. 

Nicolas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

General Motors is withdrawing from litigation led by the Trump administration against California over the state’s right to set its own fuel economy and emissions regulations, distancing itself from President Donald Trump.

In a letter Monday to environmental leaders, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company’s decision to withdraw from the litigation is effective immediately. It follows President-elect Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 election, his support for electric vehicles as well as his call for unity in the country, she said.

“We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions,” Barra wrote.

By withdrawing, GM is showing support for the incoming administration while distancing itself from Trump, who has publicly praised and condemned automakers during his tenure as commander in chief. GM has plans for a robust portfolio of electric vehicles in the coming years.

The White House did not immediately respond for comment.

Biden is widely expected to drop the litigation against California and allow the state to set its own standards. California was allowed to do so under a 2013 waiver it received under the Clean Air Act. Other states were allowed to adopt those standards as well.

The Detroit automaker along with Fiat Chrysler, Toyota Motor and other smaller automakers initially supported Trump’s efforts in late-2019. Trump at the time was fighting to rollback the Obama administration’s national emissions standards and strip California and other states of the right to set their own vehicle emissions regulations.

Four other major automakers — Ford Motor, BMW, Honda Motor and Volkswagen — reached a deal with California in July to toughen the gas mileage and emissions standards, drawing ire from Trump.

Barra invited other automakers involved in the lawsuit to “join us” and withdraw from the litigation. Fiat Chrysler and Toyota did not immediately have a response to GM’s call to withdraw from the lawsuit.

GM’s decision comes days after the automaker announced plans to spend $27 billion on all-electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025, an increase of $7 billion, or 35%, from initial plans announced in March


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Govt plans to set up charging infrastructure across 69,000 petrol pumps

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New Delhi: The government is planning to set up at least one e-charging kiosk at around 69,000 petrol pumps across the country with an aim to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

The Road Transport and Highways Minister while addressing a virtual conference said that the government has taken several steps to promote electric vehicles which include reduction in GST to 5 per cent, allowing delinking of battery cost of 2-3 wheelers from vehicle cost as it accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the cost etc.

“Battery charging ecosystem is very important…government is planning set up at least one electric vehicle charging kiosk at around 69 thousand petrol pumps across the country to induce people to go for electric mobility,” the minister was quoted as saying in a release. Stressing that India is poised to become a global automobile manufacturing hub in the next five years, Gadkari asked the automobile industry to push for manufacturing flex engines which have versatility to use petrol or ethanol/CNG as fuels.

“Our auto industry has made significant strides in terms of development of different designs and models, robust R&D, huge market, stable government frame-work and bright and young engineering minds. India already is the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers in the world,” he said.


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suzuki v-strom: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT BS6 launched at Rs 8.84 lakh

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NEW DELHI: Suzuki Motorcycle India on Tuesday launched the BS6 variant of V-Strom 650XT ABS at Rs 8.84 lakh (ex-showroom).
The V-Strom 650 XT ABS was showcased at 2020 Auto Expo. Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT ABS is equipped with four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC with 645-cc displacement, 90° V-twin engine.
The motorcycle has adopted the Suzuki Easy Start System enabling a secure and stress-free start with the push of a button. The middleweight adventure tourer comes with a lightweight Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) offering a controlled grip.
V-Strom 650XT’s three-mode traction control system (2 Mode + OFF Mode), ensures superior control over the engine and is effective in difficult road conditions, preventing rear wheel spin.
Koichiro Hirao, Managing Director, Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd. said, “V-Strom has made its own following in India. The ultimate adventure tourer has proved its mettle in the highway touring capabilities while exploring different terrains. It is truly a masterpiece with the ultimate balance provided by the natural riding position, comfortable seat and the flexible engine character. This is our first BS6 compliant big bike and we are confident that this cleaner and greener motorcycle will continue to win people’s hearts with its performance and maneuverability as it hit the Indian roads”.


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