The Centre on Monday said the sale and manufacture of Bharat Stage VI non-compliant vehicles will not be allowed from April 1, 2020, PTI reported. The Bharatiya Janata Party said allowing such vehicles would take away from the environmental benefits garnered from the use of cleaner BS VI fuel.

India has followed the Bharat Stage IV norms since April 2017, and is scheduled to switch to Bharat Stage VI in April 2020. According to the Auto Fuel Policy, BS IV was to be adopted by the country by 2017, BS V by 2020, and BS VI by 2024.

Bharat Stage emission standards regulate the output of air pollutants from vehicle engines. The higher the Bharat Stage, the less polluting the vehicle.

In January 2016, soon after the Paris climate change conference, the government, however, decided to skip Bharat Stage V norms, and move straight from Bharat Stage IV to Bharat Stage VI four years ahead of the 2024 deadline.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas told the Supreme Court, in an affidavit, that it will not have a differential pricing mechanism for the fuel for private vehicles. The court had asked the Centre to consider setting the same price for diesel and petrol for four-wheelers.

The court was hearing a petition on air pollution in the National Capital Region.

The ministry said the government has already invested Rs 28,000 in the cleaner Bharat Stage VI fuel. “If BS VI fuel is used in BS IV vehicles, the environmental benefit of having a cleaner fuel would become marginal,” Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said. “After March 31, 2020, sale of non-compliant BS VI vehicles should not be allowed.”

In April, Delhi became the first city in the country to implement the highest emission standards Bharat Stage VI for its vehicle.