Are you an SUV lover? Were you planning to buy a big SUV just before the Supreme Court decided to ban registration of diesel vehicles above 2000 cc in Delhi and NCR? Well, there is reason for you to cheer, because the apex court has decided to lift its ban order, conditional to the fact that a 1% green cess is paid at the time of purchase. Auto industry experts and top executives from major automobile companies have given a big thumbs up to the Supreme Court's order, stating that the decision will benefit both consumers and sellers alike.
Says Abdul Majeed, Partner – Price Waterhouse and an auto expert, "I think this is a great move by the Supreme Court. Banning one category of vehicles is not the solution to dealing with the pollution problem. The biggest takeaway from the ruling for the auto industry is that it does away with any uncertainty in the minds of the investors and the consumers." "Big SUVs will now be back on the radar of buyers, who shouldn't really mind paying the 1% cess," he told FE Online.
Rakesh Srivastava, Senior VP Sales and Marketing at Hyundai Motor India Ltd told FE Online, "The lifting of ban is a positive move as bans create their own set of challenges for various stake holders especially the users and customers." According to Srivastava, "The way forward is towards promoting environment friendly vehicles with a clear structured road map for investment in emission technology as well as also addressing the need of improving road infrastructure, public transport."
Agrees Rakesh Batra, National Leader Automotive Practice at EY India, who feels that the ban was not warranted in the first place. "I am glad this has happened. It's a good thing both for consumers and the auto industry. It's not as if diesel is the only fuel that was causing pollution," he said. Also, in the national capital all vehicles are BS-IV compliant. So why should auto makers suffer if they are complying with the government norms," Batra told FE Online.
Majeed of PwC also feels that diesel is not the sole pollutant in Delhi-NCR. "Many studies have proven that. Also, auto industry is only one of the many that are contributing to the pollution woes. I think from the future perspective, there should be four areas of focus; firstly, incentives should be brought in for disposal of over 10 years old vehicles; secondly, the government should focus on enhancing public transport; thirdly, there should be uniform implementation of the new emission norms; fourthly, use of green vehicles should be promoted."
Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra says the company is "very relieved" with the decision of the Supreme Court. "I hope this decision will put all controversy surrounding diesel fuel behind us and we will be able to focus on the more important task of making our vehicles compliant with BS 6 norms by April 2020," Goenka said. RC Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki India is of the view that the sentiment of consumers is already shifting from diesel to petrol. "We did not see a direct impact due to the ban, but the SC order will restore parity between diesel and petrol," he added.
The Supreme Court today lifted the ban on registration of diesel vehicles over 2000cc in Delhi and NCR. The apex court has directed that all manufacturers, dealers or buyers have to deposit a 1% environment compensation cost on purchase. "The 1 per cent green cess has to be deposited before the Central Pollution Control Board, which will open a separate account in a PSU bank," the court ruled. The green cess will be on the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. The apex court has kept open for adjudication Centre's opposition that such charge cannot be levied by the court. The court added that it will decide later whether the green cess can be levied on diesel vehicles of below 2000cc engine capacity.