Union Budget 2019 reaction: New measures will help in making EVs more affordable and attractive to the consumers, Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2019 today. The Budget 2019 covered the topics of efficient public transportation, alternate methods of commute for commercial vehicles, national transport card for universal payment of tolls, tickets for road and rail and retail shopping. It also covered the national highway development plan that will further improve connectivity in the country. Here's the detailed reaction from Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM
"We warmly welcome the various additional measures announced to promote EVs like reducing the GST to 5%, exemption in customs duty on EV parts and specially the Income Tax deduction on the interest component paid for loans taken for purchasing EVs. All these were recommendations given by SIAM and we are grateful to the FM for having accepted them. These measures will certainly help in making EVs more affordable and attractive to the consumers, which is in line with the recommendations made in the Economic Survey.
However, the auto industry is currently going through a very difficult time and the industry was expecting some form of a stimulus package in the Budget in line with what had been done by Government during the previous two similar slowdowns. It is disappointing that the FM has not recognized the distress in the auto sector and not come out with any kind of support or stimulus, said Mr. Wadhera. However, the initiatives for improving liquidity in the market by capital infusion in the Banks should help the industry to some extent.
Furthermore, the industry had expected that a voluntary scrappage policy would be announced which did not happen. There was also no announcement of extension of the 200% weighted deduction for R&D expenses. In fact, increasing the duties on auto parts and putting an additional cess on petrol and diesel could drive up costs of vehicles, specially where volumes are low and localization in not viable and the overall cost of operations of transport which could further aggravate the slowdown in the industry," cautioned Wadhera.