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CI_May2017_Mag-1It Never Rains but It Pours

THE MONTH GONE BY DEMONSTRATED THAT THE automobile industry in India is indeed an exciting industry to be in but for all the wrong reasons. It all started with the 1 April deadline for BS-III vehicles. The Supreme Court ruled that no BS-III vehicles would be allowed to be sold after 1 April. A few manufacturers were saddled with stock that had been produced before 1 April but had not been sold. A little more clarity from the government would have helped avoid this awkward situation.

The imminent introduction of GST is likely to give rise to a few fears until the actual rates are announced. Unfortunately, we are still in our post- Independence socialist mindset and tend to categorise all possible products as luxuries. How can a refrigerator or a washing machine or even a car be categorised as a luxury product? When will we let our masses enjoy these products by making them more affordable?

The final blow came with the state government suddenly increasing the price of petrol by Rs 3, ostensibly to finance the drought situation in the state. International prices of petrol today are half those that prevailed three years ago but the consumer in Maharashtra will pay very nearly the highest price of petrol ever. Bad news for two-wheeler and car owners. Taxes in Maharashtra on petrol are more than 150 per cent. Isn’t that extortionate?


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