Automobile industry welcomes SC decision on diesel vehicles

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New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) Automobile manufacturers on Friday praised the Supreme Court decision lifting the ban on registering diesel cars, SUVs and other vehicles with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc and more in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“It is a positive step towards addressing the challenges of customers and various stakeholders,” said Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motor India.

“To improve investment climate positively is most important, supported by a structured and long roadmap for introduction of technology with a positive tax regime in which implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) will play a key role.”

The Supreme Court in its order said that the registration process will be allowed after depositing one per cent of the ex-showroom price as environment compensation charge (ECC) with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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While supporting the decision, Abdul Majeed, Partner Price Waterhouse and an auto expert, said this step alone will not address the emission issue, and holistic solutions need to be figured out by replacing old vehicles on the road.

“Promoting environment friendly vehicles as well as significantly improving public transport are some of the areas which requires immediate attention,” said Majeed.

“In addition, we need to move to higher and more uniform emission standards across the country.”

Luxury-car maker Mercedes-Benz India pointed out: “We have followed the earlier direction of the Supreme Court and filed an interim application seeking relief on the ban on our cars.”

“Following the court suggestion, we as a voluntary interim measure, offered to pay 1% of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle towards anticipated environment compensation charge as a deposit, and not on the premise that our vehicles are polluting the environment.”

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Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra and Mahindra, said: “Hope this decision will put all controversy surrounding diesel fuel behind us and we will be able to focus on the more important task of making our vehicles compliant with BS 6 norms by April 2020”.

According to Tom von Bonsdorff, Managing Director, Volvo Auto India, the decision of the Supreme Court has come as a big relief for the automobile industry and related stakeholders.

“We are sure this decision has been taken keeping in mind the desire of the Apex Court to protect Delhi’s environment and we are happy to contribute to that cause,” Bonsdroff explained.

“With Volvo launching the first plug-in hybrid petrol SUV soon, we hope to give a product to the customers which comes as a package of green luxury.”

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