Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today dismissed reports that his family has links with a firm manufacturing e-rickshaws and asserted that he has no commercial interest in the sector manufacturing them.
An official statement explaining his position came in the wake of media reports claiming that PGT, a Nagpur-based company having interests in manufacturing of such battery-operated tricycles, has links with his family.
"Neither Nitin Gadkari nor any member of his family is associated with any e-rickshaw manufacturing firm," the official statement said today reacting to reports that had also raised question of conflict of interest since Gadkari as minister was favouring lifting of the ban on e-rickshaws in the national capital.
The statement said, "The Union Minister has no commercial interests whatsoever in the e-rickshaw manufacturing sector nor has he got any link with the Purti Green Technologies Pvt Ltd, which, according to reports in a section of the media, has shown interest in manufacturing battery-run rickshaws."
Battery-run e-rickshaws have been in operation in several parts of the country for many years and these are being manufactured by a large number of companies in different states, the statement said, adding that more than two lakh e-rickshaws are already operating in Delhi-NCR and other parts of the country.
The production of e-rickshaws is allowed only by those manufacturers who have obtained a licence from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and it is "up to the CSIR to grant licence to e-rickshaw manufacturers and any firm interested in its production is free to apply for a licence to CSIR and start production," the statement said.