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Switch to alternative fuel or your cars will be bulldozed, Nitin Gadkari tells automakers

The Union minister said the Cabinet was already discussing setting up charging stations across India for electric vehicles.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday warned car manufacturers of their vehicles being “bulldozed” if they did not move to alternative fuel, PTI reported. Gadkari said the government will soon bring in a policy on electric vehicles in the country.

“We should move towards alternative fuel,” Gadkari said at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ convention in New Delhi. “I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you, I will bulldoze it.”

He said the government is determined to reduce imports and curb pollution in India. “We have seen in the past that despite the hike in taxes, demand for vehicles do not come down. This tells you something about the market for cars,” he said, according to Moneycontrol.

The Road Transport and Highways minister said the Cabinet was already discussing ways to set up charging stations for electric vehicles. “It is in the last stage and will be done as early as possible,” he added.

The Centre on August 30 had approved an ordinance that hikes the Goods and Services Tax on mid-size, large cars and SUVs from the current 15% to 25%, in addition to the taxes on the sale of luxury vehicles. Automakers had protested the rise expecting their sales to fall. The GST Council is likely to decide the date of implementation of the increased cess during its next meeting on September 9.

Gadkari asked the automakers to research on alternative fuel, adding that India’s import bill was around Rs 7 lakh crore per annum. “Alternative fuel is import substitute, cost effective and pollution free,”

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