Disheartened by lack of political consensus on GST: SIAM

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SIAM president Vikram Kirloskar hits out at ‘environmental activism’; says the auto industry has been ‘unfairly targeted without sufficient data’

Calling for removing high rates of taxation, auto industry body SIAM today said it had been “disheartened” by the lack of political consensus on implementation of Goods and Services Tax.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said the industry has been slowly turning around after witnessing a prolonged slowdown but “there are speed breakers” in the form of government policies as the country prepares for future emission norms and safety standards.

“The auto industry is highly taxed with multiple excise duty rates from 12.5 per cent to 30 per cent,” SIAM PresidentVikram Kirloskar said at the inaugural session of the auto industry body’s general meeting.

He further said after additional state taxes, the overall cascading effect goes up to 84 per cent on vehicles.

“SIAM has been seeking for reduced taxation and was looking forward to GST but we are disheartened at the lack of political consensus on it…,” Kirloskar added.

He also called for stable policies, specially regarding emission norms and said skipping Bharat Stage (BS) V and jumping straight to BS VI from BS IV would add extra burden to the auto industry and in turn to customers.

Kirloskar said harmonisation with global safety and emission norms in India must be done keeping the local conditions in mind.

He also said once timelines for policies have been fixed, it should not be subjected to ‘knee jerk’ reactions and change as it affects the entire supply chain as the auto industry worked on an integrated chain involving suppliers.

Hitting out at ‘environmental activism’, Kirloskar said the auto industry has been ‘unfairly targeted without sufficient data’.

Raising concerns over increasing free trade agreements signed with competing countries, Kirloskar said “we need to realign our policies”.

Source: Business Standard

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