New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India, Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that the government is concerned about the slowdown in the automobile sector and has no intention of banning petrol and diesel cars in the country.

Speaking at the 59th Annual SIAM Convention, Gadkari said that the government will ban internal combustion engine vehicles, but it is well aware of the contribution that India's automobile industry is making to the country's exports and employment.

“There were discussions and the ministry had received suggestions that petrol-diesel vehicles be banned. I would like to clarify that the government does not intend to ban petrol and diesel vehicles. We aren't going to do anything like that,” said Gadkari.

The auto industry in India is worth Rs 4.50 lakh crore. He also acknowledged the auto sector is going through a slowdown.

“We understand the concerns of the automobile industry. The slowdown has not only impacted the Automobile manufacturers but the nation’s overall progress as well,” he said.

Auto industry body SIAM earlier sought immediate steps from the government, including a reduction in GST rates and initiation of scrappage policy, as sales continued to plummet with passenger vehicle makers witnessing a decline of 30 per cent offtake in August.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said even the commercial vehicle and two-wheeler sales are significantly negative indicating that the market has still not responded to the various measures initiated by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month.

“All this while, the industry has pulled out all the stops in offering attractive deals and discounts to the consumers. "However, the ability of the industry to provide large discounts is limited and this only highlights the need for government to consider reducing the GST rates from 28 per cent to 18 per cent which would significantly reduce the cost of vehicles and, in turn, create demand,” said SIAM President Rajan Wadhera in a statement.

“The festival season is around the corner, it is imperative that these decisions are taken quickly and announced without delay so that the industry could hope for a better festival season that could harbinger a recovery in the industry,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma