The Supreme Court will be pronouncing its final order regarding ban on sale of vehicles complaint to BS III emission norms on 29th March at 2 pm. It has been quite a nail-bitter for auto manufacturers as the most stand to face massive losses if the apex court put sin place a blanket ban on sale and registration of BS III vehicles. About 9 lakh units of BS III vehicles currently lie in manufacturers' inventory, as it was widely understood that 31st March was the last day for manufacturing BS III units. Hero MotoCorp has said that the company will register a Rs 1600 crore loss is the court bans sale of BS III vehicles. Total losses on two-wheelers would amount to Rs 2500 crore, while losses on trucks would stand as Rs 25000 crore is sale of BS III vehicles is banned on 1st April, according to SIAM data.
The Government has been supporting the automobile industry. On Monday, the government told the apex court that it agrees with the interpretation of automakers that April 1, 2017 is a deadline to stop production of BSIII vehicles and not sale.
The government has argued for the case on the following grounds: The existing rules that govern migration of emission standards provide only for halting of manufacturing of vehicles that comply to the previous norms. These rules have not been challenged or objected to at any stage. The same set of rules were followed when the country moved on to BS III emission norms. Sale and registration of BS III vehicles can continue as these vehicles do not become redundant. They can very well be run on BS IV fuel. The stock of BS III vehicles that remain unsold account for a tiny fraction of the 19 crore vehicles already plying on the roads.
Although manufacturers have been reintroducing their products with updated engines, about all 20,000 dealers in India have stocks of BS III vehicles, especially of commercial vehicles and two wheelers.
Watch this space for further updates on the matter, and the Supreme Court's verdict on whether or not sale and registration of BSIII vehicles will be allowed after 1st April, 2017.