Auto industry seeks govt help in smooth transition to BS-VI emission norms

New Delhi: Automotive industry body SIAM on Friday sought government intervention to help the sector in smooth transition to BS-VI emission norms from April next year, saying the prospect of abrupt stoppage of manufacturing and sales of BS-IV vehicles overnight posed a "monumental" challenge.

Speaking at the annual convention of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), SIAM President Rajan Wadhera said vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers were on track to meet stricter emission norms, but expressed concern over availability of BS-VI fuel across the country.

"The transition is very abrupt on March 31, both manufacturing and sales (of BS-IV vehicles) stop. This has never ever happened in anywhere in the world," Wadhera said.

It is extremely difficult to predict sales and plan inventories in such a way to have zero inventory on end of March, he added.

"This itself is giving speculation and confusion in customers and in huge loss for the entire auto fraternity," Wadhera said.

Turning to Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Anurag Thakur and MoS Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arjun Ram Meghwal, he said, "So sir, we request you to please look at this, and from time to time over the next few weeks we shall interact with you to give us a possible solution to this very big complex thing which is coming." Last year, Supreme Court had ruled that no Bharat Stage (BS) IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020.

Terming the transition as "a very monumental phase of the entire auto industry", the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President said, "All eyes are on us. Together we have to ensure that we execute this transition very well." Lots of investment and hard work have already been put in by both OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and suppliers, he added.

Wadhera also drew the attention of the government to take a swift decision on GST reduction on automobiles ahead of the festive season.

"We have an issue at hand with the festival season around where 15 to 20 per cent of the sales happen during this festive time. The revival of sentiment is very important," he said.

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Free Press Journal