India’s transport minister Shri Nitin Gadkari, while speaking at the Lok Sabha session held yesterday. has assured the automobile industry that the government will not ban petrol and diesel engines, as speculated by many media reports.
The much-sorted clarification came amidst several reports from media channels that the government is considering a blanket on petrol and diesel-fuelled cars and bike from the Indian automobile sector. Though he seemed to continue with governments push for the electric vehicles in India. Along with it, the government is focussing on various kinds of eco-friendly alternative fuel options.
“There is speculation about banning the existing industry, but we are not doing it. We understand that it contributes to the country’s exports and employment, but the switch over must happen at the earliest and (manufacturers must) move to electric, biofuel,” he said.
He further claimed that India has 3.97 Lakh registered electric/battery-operated vehicles as of July 9. According to the transport minister, Uttar Pradesh has the highest registered EVs amounting to 1.39 Lakh, followed by Delhi and Karnataka standing at 75.7K and 31.94K registered EVs respectively.
In May 2019. NITI Aayog had proposed a complete switch to electric two and three-wheelers from 2023. The proposal had also talked about banning all internal combustion engine (ICE) three-wheelers by March 2023 and two-wheelers below 150 cc by 2025.
The government recently approved Phase-II of the FAME India Scheme “Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India”, for three years commencing from April 1, 2019, with total budgetary support of Rs 10,000 crore.
Under Phase-II of the scheme, the government intends to support the development of EV charging infrastructure by extending the capital grant to different organisations working with the city government for the promotion of the use of electric vehicles (EVs).
The Ministry of Heavy Industries has invited proposals from entities for the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in big and smart cities. The proposals are invited from entities that intend to develop EV charging infrastructure in cities with the million-plus population as per the 2011 census; and smart cities as notified by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as well encouraged electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and adoption in India, during her maiden Budget speech. This includes a reduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 12 percent to five percent, exemption of customs duty as well as additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loan for purchasing EVs.
Government of the day seems quite sincere and committed towards its goal of eco-friendly transport ecosystem in India and several schemes and exemptions, from all across the department and ministries showcase the co-operative intent. With EVs already on the Indian roads in the form of public transport vehicles have huge potential in private consumer vehicles.