The 60th SIAM annual convention was hosted today. While this is usually a big gala event where the who’s who of the auto industry is present, this time it was a bit different. Due to the prevailing pandemic situation, the conference this time was virtual. However, it didn’t lack sheen as three ministers were present at various points in time and took questions from the panel. Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Information & Broadcasting and Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India, Prakash Javadekar was the present in the first quarter of the panel discussion. He emphasised that the much-delayed scrappage policy will be introduced real “soon”. We hope that means within a month’s time, things should fall into place. Javadekar also promised the government support in ramping demand for cars, bikes.
Javadekar said that the government is keen to get into battery making at a later stage. He added that a few years ago, he had visited China. At that point in time, there were only six per cent EVs there. Now, the country has more than 40 per cent EVs. He also said that the COVID-19 induced supply chain disruption has been taken care off and according to the new guidelines, car/bike makers can start their regular production soon.
Union minister of road transport & highways and micro, small and medium enterprises, Government of India was present in the second session. He said that 22 expressways have been included, with more than 50 per cent work completed for the Mumbai-Delhi highway. Another bit was about the Delhi-Amritsar route which will enable one to complete the journey by road in just four hrs. Gadkari elaborated that the highest work done was 30km in a day. India has the 2nd highest road infrastructure in the world, added Gadkari. This in turn will ramp the demand for new cars and bikes. As has been the case before, Gadkari requested all the automakers to explore alternative fuel sources like ethanol. At present, the only announced vehicle in India that runs on ethanol is the TVS Apache RTR 200 eFI.
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