Scrapping policy to boost auto industry: Gadkari

Ready with a new scrapping policy that will provide incentives for surrendering old polluting vehicles, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said it would boost the automobile industry turnover about four-times to Rs 20 lakh crore in the next five years.

The draft of the much-awaited policy is ready and would be put in public domain within a week to seek views of the stakeholders and general public, the road transport and highways minister said.

“We will put the vehicle scrapping policy on website within a week to seek suggestions and based on that we will seek Finance Ministry's approval. Once approved, it will be sent for the Cabinet nod,” Gadkari told PTI in an interview.

Automobile industry's turnover, which is about Rs 4.5 lakh crore at present, will touch Rs 20 lakh crore in the next five years with this policy and India can be the “number one country to export the world's best cars”, he said. Giving further thrust to emission control measures, the draft norms for the 'end of life' policy are likely to provide about 50 per cent rebate in excise duty on new vehicles for buyers who surrender their polluting old ones.

“We will set up industrial clusters near ports that will manufacture automobile parts at half the market rate. The labour cost in India is less. Car parts like copper, steel, plastic and aluminium would be available in plenty from old vehicles, which would be recycled at these clusters,” he said.

The government last month said it is planning 29 port-based coastal industrial centres under coastal economic zones which will boost exports by $110 billion besides creating one crore new jobs.

The clusters are planned in the vicinity of India's top 12 major ports.

The government is also considering giving financial incentives of up to Rs 1.5 lakh on surrender of over-ten-year-old vehicles to check pollution and address road safety concerns, Gadkari had earlier said.

The proposed policy will follow the government's earlier announcement to implement stricter emission norms for vehicles from April 2020 despite the auto industry calling it an “extremely challenging” task.

India plans to leapfrog to stricter emission standards of Bharat Stage-VI fuel specifications, skipping BS-V norms altogether, from April 1, 2020.

Under the proposed scrapping policy, people would get an incentive of up to Rs 30,000 for discarding small vehicles like cars, while total benefits after taking into account the tax exemptions could be up to Rs 1.5 lakh for big vehicles like trucks, the minister had said earlier.

The new policy is likely to be valid for over-ten-year-old vehicles across the country.

The plan is to set up 8-10 industrial units near ports like Kandla which will give certificates for accepting old vehicles and also recycle vehicles from India and abroad, thus giving a boost to employment and economy.

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