Monday, December 01, 2014
By Kriti Gupta
Government might extend excise duty on cars
Car makers have asked the government to extend excise duty relief, which is ending on December 31, saying removal of this incentive could push the industry into a negative territory. The government had cut excise duty on cars, SUVs and two-wheelers in the Interim Budget in February to help the industry tide over a demand slump. In June, the new government extended the excise duty concession for automobiles by six months to December 31. "I had welcomed the government's move when they had announced to maintain the reduction in excise duty six month's back and I think the government should continue to do so going forward as well," Renault India Country CEO and Managing Director Sumit Sawhney told PTI.
Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava said: "At this point, if the excise duty goes up, it could easily push the car industry into the negative territory." He expressed the hope that government will continue excise relief and said it is very conscious of the need to expand manufacturing and that the car industry has not been performing as good as it was hoped for. Industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Director General Vishnu Mathur said the continuation of the excise duty relief would help the industry recover fully.
"We are requesting the government to continue the excise duty reduction as the industry has not fully recovered. Continuation of excise duty relief will help the recovery of the industry," he said. Car sales in India fell 2.55 per cent in October as purchases remained subdued during the festival season, marking the second consecutive month of decline. In September car sales had declined 1.03 per cent, after posting four months of consecutive growth. Excise duty on small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles currently stands at 8 per cent from 12 per cent previously. The factory gate duty on SUVs stands at the reduced rate of 24 per cent as against 30 per cent.