Letter to BS: Pradhan's announcement on CNG stations is a positive signal

It is sad that your editorial (30 July) looks at only the dark and negative side of the government’s audacious plan to stop production of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Coming from an opinion making and highly respected economic daily, it is bound to create serious doubts in the thinking of the people and will further erode the chances of success of this programme that promises huge long term benefits of containing pollution and mitigating the deadly march of climate change. A strong media can seriously alter public opinion and you — I am sorry to say —are doing a national disservice by not taking a holistic view in the matter. You seem to be going way beyond mere pragmatism.

A revolutionary switch like this will surely have hurdles; it certainly requires supporting ecosystem as your sub-title itself says. Yet, making only the past performance in case of CNG a benchmark and admitting defeat before the race begins is — let me submit — not the right thing. Major changes require dreaming big and setting the bar higher. It needs support from all stakeholders. It is a doable project. The government has made a great beginning by drastically reducing GST on electric vehicles and chargers. It has also announced exemption from GST for hiring of electric buses. Added to the tax break announced earlier in the Budget — on interest paid on loans for buying EVs — it is virtually bending backwards to incentivise both buyers and manufacturers. Leading auto makers have already lauded the steps. Pradhan’s announcement to add 10,000 new CNG stations is yet another positive signal.

We should view the situation from all angles. 

Krishan Kalra, Gurugram
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