Auto Industry not happy with Budget 2017; laments lack of incentives for eco-friendly vehicles

Auto industry expressed disappointment over the lack of higher incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles, besides ignoring of suggestions for fleet modernisation scheme in the Budget. The car rental industry were also optimistic that the Budget will focus more on promoting tourism in the country. 

“We would have preferred an announcement of higher incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles which would have emphasised Government of India’s war on pollution,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice Chairman Whole-time Director Shekar Viswanathan said in a statement.

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Expressing similar sentiments, Nissan India Operations President Guillaume Sicard said, “There is nothing substantial for RD for automotive industry, EV and Hybrid vehicles, which is a dampener.”

Volvo Auto India Managing Director Tom von Bonsdorff said while it was anticipated that there won’t be any major changes in existing indirect taxes in this Budget in view of impending GST implementation, “any measures to promote green technology would have given customers more options of environment-friendly vehicles”.

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Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President Vinod K Dasari expressed disappointment that auto industry’s request for the incentive-based fleet modernisation scheme has again not found support in the Budget.     

Moreover, there was a genuine case for continuation of 200 per cent weighted deduction on RD expenses for Auto industry, which remained unacknowledged in Budget proposals, he added.

However, he expressed satisfaction that Rs 175 crore has been allocated towards funding of the electric and hybrid vehicle programme, through FAME scheme.

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Renault India Operations Country CEO and MD Sumit Sawhney said one of the focal decisions that the automotive sector was looking forward to from this Budget was the GST roll-out, and how different vehicle categories will be taxed.

“Another area which deserved attention was the vehicle scrappage policy. A clear roadmap on these policies would have given a boost to the industry. Although the Budget didn’t have much for the automobile sector, we are hopeful for some pro-business policies on a continual basis to benefit the industry,” he added.

Hyundai Motor India Senior Vice President – Sales Marketing, Rakesh Srivastava said the budget allocation on infrastructure development will create investments, generate employment and enhance mobility across the country.     

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“Further income tax concessions to MSME and lower personal income tax will enable affordability of cars for entry level buyers,” he added.

The car-rental industry had high expectations from the Budget 2017 as they felt that the government should have focused on the Tourism and Hospitality industry.

Aditya Loomba, Joint Managing Director, ECO Rent A Car said, “The budget was ore or less as per my expectation, as it focused mainly on infrastructure growth like roads, sanitation, affordable housing etc. It also focuses on implementation of recent demonetization and digitalization policies.The HNIs will be taxed more and the tax burden on lower-mid income will be reduced.There was also some tax relief for small businesses which I feel is a good initiative.Personally, I wished there could have been more focus on our Tourism and Hospitality industry as it has a much greater potential for growth and needs suitable investments.We are a large country with an amazing potential for tourism. If the tourism grows, it has cascading benefits on Employment, GDP and general image building of our nation.”

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Rajiv Vij, CEO MD, Carzonrent said, “The Union Budget presented brings out the progressive outlook of the government for Businesses as well as individuals. The investments proposed in the area of skill developments are a welcome step. The investments in building National Highways is a welcome step for the car rental industry. The impact of the demonetization drive is visible with progressive steps taken for an inclusive and cashless economic future of India.”

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