Citing a study conducted by IIT Kanpur, the Society of Indian
Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has stated that the Supreme Court ban in
the NCR on cars with diesel engines of 2000 cc and above will not result in the
desired objective of reducing pollution. IIT Kanpur recently conducted a
study which indicates that all types of passenger cars as a whole contribute to
only 2% of the PM 2.5 pollution load in NCT. Out of this 2%, all diesel cars
are estimated to contribute only 1.5% of the PM 2.5 pollution load. Further
BS-IV diesel cars contribute only 0.5 % of PM 2.5 emissions.
SIAM noted that all diesel cars being manufactured today are
compliant to the current emission norms set by Government of India, compliant
vehicles can never be considered as “polluting”, and the “polluter pays”
principle cannot be applied, unless there is a violation of the notified
emission norms. The automotive industry has made significant investments in
diesel technology which are in accordance with the investment policies of
the Government. As such, putting any restrictions or bans on a legally
compliant industry tantamount to an infringement of the fundamental right to do
business in the country.
According to SIAM, ban on diesel vehicle is not going to achieve
the desired objective of reducing pollution, but will vilify diesel technology
which has gone through a major transformation over the last 15 years and today
is highly clean, as well as energy efficient. A ban on BS IV diesel cars
legally encourages old and highly polluting vehicles not meeting the current
emission norms, to continue plying on the road, while not allowing new vehicles
compliant with current emission norms to be used. This is contra to the
objective of the ban. It also gives an impression that there is no stability or
predictability in the policy regime which will deeply dent the country’s global
image as an investment destination and the ‘Make in India’ priority. Many auto MNCs have already taken a
decision to freeze further investments in India until complete clarity is
achieved on key policy issues which can have a bearing on their business
prospects in India.
auto industry with a total size of approximately Rs. 600,000 crores contribute
almost half of the Manufacturing GDP of the country and employs more than 31
million persons direct and indirect. According to Government’s Automotive
Mission Plan (AMP), the auto industry has the potential to employ a further 65
million persons in the next 10 years. The task before Government now is to
arrive at a unified stand on major policy issues like the diesel case and
clarify the policy to the Courts, as well as globally.
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