The government’s top brass, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other senior ministers, will brainstorm tomorrow to chalk out a plan to promote electric vehicles in the country.
The high-powered meeting, to be attended by Union Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Heavy Industry Minister Anant Geete, comes ahead of the nation-wide rollout of the FAME India scheme under which incentives will be provided to electric and hybrid vehicles.
The scheme that was running in pilot phase till now will be formally launched on April 1. To promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government has been offering incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars under the scheme in pilot mode.
Once the scheme acquires full steam, it could help save fuel worth Rs 60,000 crore annually, Geete had said earlier.
At the meeting, Power, Coal, Mines and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal will make a presentation explaining the various aspects related to the increased use of electric vehicles including rise in power consumption, impact on the environment and how economies of scale can make it viable for India, sources told PTI.
NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya and representatives from ministries like Railways will also be present in the meeting to provide inputs on the means to increase the adoption of electric vehicles, sources said.
The Department of Heavy Industry is the nodal agency for implementing the FAME India scheme.
According to experts, several factors including higher cost of vehicles, power outages, lack of charging infrastructure and dearth of facilities for eco-friendly disposal of batteries to curb pollution are among the factors inhibiting consumers from buying electric vehicles in India.
FAME India – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India – is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. In Budget 2017-18, Rs 175 crore has been earmarked for the scheme as against the revised and budget estimates of Rs 122.90 crore for the current financial year.
However, experts believe that the provision of funds is insufficient to incentivise the use of electric vehicles.
The Heavy Industries Ministry had estimated a total requirement of about Rs 14,000 crore for the programme.
In 2013, the UPA government had also launched the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020. It aimed to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country.
It had set an ambitious target to achieve sales of 6-7 million hybrid and electric vehicles year-on-year from 2020 onwards. The government has been keen to provide fiscal and monetary incentives to kickstart this nascent technology and boost sales of electric and hybrid vehicles.