There Are Several Factors For Decline In Vehicle Sale: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

AS India’s first full-fledged lady Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is being pilloried for the so-called economic slowdown, she says the crisis in the automobile sector is due to varied factors like the change in mindset of millennials. They prefer taxi aggregators like OLA and UBER instead of committing for monthly installments to own a car. Sitharaman said the automobile industry did have its “good times” till two years ago. “It was definitely a good upward trajectory for the automobile sector”, she told reporters at Chennai. The  automobile sector  employing about half a million people directly and indirectly have been affected by several things, including movement towards Bharat Stage -VI norms and registration related matters and (also) change in mindsets, she said. Some studies have revealed that there is a change in the mindset of the millennials not to commit any EMIs (equated monthly installments) towards buying an automobile and instead taking OLA, UBER or the Metro (train) services. Aggregator taxis are available literally at a click away.  “So, a whole lot of factors are influencing the automobile sector. We are all seized of the problem. We will try to solve it”, she said. The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission norm will come into force from 1 April 2020 across the country. Currently, vehicles conform to BS-IV emission standards. Finance Minister Sitharaman has   announced lifting the ban on purchase of vehicles by government departments and allowed an additional 15 per cent depreciation on vehicles acquired from now till March 2020.Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has clarified that BS-IV vehicles purchased up to March 2020 would remain operational for the entire period of registration. Besides, Government is also considering various measures including scrappage policy to boost demand. Gadkari has assured the nation that there is no move to ban diesel and petrol vehicles. Meanwhile, FM Sitharaman is interacting with the representatives of the trade and commerce across the nation to have firsthand knowledge about their problems. She has also refused to accept the oft -repeated narrative that India is facing economic slow down.

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