According to Praful Patel, it is wrong to levy the SUV tax on cheaper SUVs such as Tata Sumo and Mahindra Bolero, which transport people in rural areas
Praful Patel, minister for heavy industries and public enterprises, said on Thursday that vehicles priced below Rs10 lakh should be exempted from the sport utility vehicle (SUV) tax announced in the Budget.
Supporting the automobile industry's demand for a second look at the increase in excise duty on SUVs to 30% from 27% , he said, "I certainly feel there is a need to look at the excise duty on SUV. To begin with, there is no classification of SUV to be found in the Motor Vehicles Act."
Last week, the Standing Committee on Finance headed by Yashwant Sinha had called the government’s move to impose additional tax on SUVs discriminatory. Following the Budget on 28th March, certain long cars normally referred to as sedans have come under the government’s definition of SUV and have ended up paying higher taxes.
Chidambaram, in his Budget proposal, said that any vehicles over and above the 4-metre length, having a 1500cc engine, and 170mm ground clearance would pay 30% tax while sedans would continue to pay the regular 24-27% tax, depending on their classification. However, this has also affected popular sedans like Maruti SX4, Toyota Corolla Altis and Honda Civic.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Hero Mindmine Summit, Patel said the SUV tax has hurt vehicles like “Sumo and Bolero, which are used in rural areas to transport people.”
Stating that he has taken up the matter with finance minister P Chidambaram, Patel said, "I suggested that any vehicle below Rs10 lakh may be brought out of the definition.”
He said the objective must be to "dis-incentivise people who use high-end cars" and for them "not to be subsidised by cheap diesel."
Patel said the automobile industry has 'merit and justification' in seeking a re-look at the higher tax on SUVs.
BHEL will receive FGD system technology, used to remove sulphur dioxide from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants, from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
India's state-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited said on Thursday that it has tied up with Japan-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, for environment-friendly technology for its manufacturing units.
An official statement said, "BHEL has geared up for the manufacture and supply of pollution control equipment to meet the emerging requirement of thermal power plants."
BHEL has entered into a license agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for acquiring flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) system technology. FGD is a set of technologies used to remove sulphur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants, and from the emissions of other sulphur oxide emitting processes.
The new systems will be engineered and manufactured at the Ranipet unit of BHEL in Tamil Nadu. It is expected that some of the upcoming power projects, including ultra mega power projects, may utilise this new technology.
While the UPA government has faced much flak for ignoring the struggles of the aam aadmi, Rahul Gandhi’s speech at CII preached the importance of listening to the one billion plus voices of India
Rahul Gandhi, Vice President, Indian National Congress, stressed the strong connection between economic growth and harmony among the people of India, while addressing the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi. “Inclusive growth is a win-win for everybody,” he pointed out.
While criticising the existing system, Mr Gandhi said, “the political system is clogged and it is not responding.” There is a problem in devolution of power. Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly and Pradhans at the local level must work for the development of the constituency in each part of the country. Industrialists must also bear this in mind in starting new projects instead of complaining about centre-state tensions.
This is important to all of us after the 73rd and 74th Amendment to the Constitution in empowering the third tier of government with development funds, he said.
Holding industry captains responsible for education and employment, he said, “You know what you are going to do. You will employ the youth. Simultaneously, the system must weed out obsolete things and industry must play a role in improving the education system to a more modern one.”
Mr Gandhi said he had no sops to offer and then pinned the responsibility for development and growth on industrialists themselves. He said, “I have come here because I believe in you. I want to forge a long-term partnership with you to build a brave new empowered India. Industry captains will be ‘expecting a solution for a long time…’ and keep waiting, if they think, ‘Manmohanji or the government will solve all the problems.’ Instead, India is thirsting for a visionary partnership, whereby we open out the value chain.”
On the need for co-operation from industry, Mr Gandhi, said, “Government cannot provide infrastructure alone.” He listed roads, ports and electricity as priority areas.
Pointing out that the Indian system is a complex one, with over one billion people, Mr Gandhi said that there are no simple answers in a connected world. India will have a decentralised system and will need “robust answers.” Industry must work for it. “People’s participation in decision making is crucial for development. Businessmen, the middle class and the poor people must all work for development and must all be included in growth,” he said.
While encouraging industrialists to work toward a tidal wave of economic growth, he made sure that we remembered the need for compassion. The simple ability to listen to the people (one billion plus voices) is important for those in the government and industry alike. He said, “We must embrace the complexity of this country.”
Mr Gandhi believes that India must unlock its great potential. He said that even people living abroad must in the future say, “We want to be like India.” In the 21st century, our ideas and knowledge must move us fast and our educational system and skills should be of global standards.
While comparing India’s growth path with China’s, Rahul Gandhi was clear that India was not any more “an elephant, but a bee-hive.” He said, “We are much more powerful than we think.” Also, he said that India must not be satisfied with incremental growth, but must work for growth in an exponential curve. The government will only be there for smart intervention. He insisted that we are sitting on an unstoppable tide of ideas and that we are a brave young country.