Several leading firms in the automobile industry are urging the government to maintain favourable policies for promoting green mobility and focus on robust infrastructure development in the upcoming Budget, scheduled for presentation on February 1.
Santosh Iyer, MD and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India, emphasised the importance of continuing capital expenditure on infrastructural projects to support the automotive sector. He highlighted the need for a policy push for green mobility to encourage faster adoption of electric vehicles.
“We expect capex on infrastructural projects to continue, aiding the automotive sector. The policy push for green mobility should remain a key focus for the government, encouraging faster adoption of electric vehicles,” Mercedes-Benz India MD and CEO Santosh Iyer said.
Iyer also called for a rationalised duty structure and priority in Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the luxury car segment, which currently attracts a GST slab of 28 per cent, with additional cess on sedans and SUVs, resulting in a total tax incidence of up to 50 per cent.
Swapnesh R Maru, Deputy Managing Director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, expressed confidence in the government’s commitment to shifting towards a greener future. He stressed the importance of policy stability, spurring investment, and infrastructure development to enhance global competitiveness and promote growth in the manufacturing and service sectors.
“Looking ahead, policy stability and continued emphasis on spurring investment and infrastructure development will not only further enhance the country’s global competitiveness but also lead to growth in the manufacturing and service sectors,” he added.
Raghupati Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director of JK Tyre & Industries, highlighted the significance of consistent automotive policies for sectoral expansion, considering it crucial for India’s journey to become the third-largest global economy.
Suman Mishra, MD & CEO of Mahindra Last Mile Mobility, emphasised the contribution of electric three-wheelers and commercial vehicles to inclusive income generation. She urged the Union Budget 2024 to prioritise this segment through continued support under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme.
Sulajja Firodia Motwani, founder and CEO of Kinetic Green, expressed optimism about the government’s continued support for electric vehicles, especially with the potential announcement of the FAME III scheme. The current Phase-II of the FAME India scheme, with a budgetary support of Rs 10,000 crore, is set to expire on March 31, 2024.
Mayank Gupta, CFO of CarDekho Group, called on the government to address GST anomalies in self-drive cars. He suggested considerations such as addressing GST anomalies, reducing surcharges to cap personal tax rates at 30 per cent, and extending long-term capital gains benefits to employee stock ownership plans (ESOP).
“The government can consider addressing GST anomalies in self-drive cars, contemplating a personal tax rate cap of 30 per cent through surcharge reductions, and extending long-term capital gains benefits to employee stock ownership plans (ESOP)”.
(With PTI inputs)