The finance ministry has asked auto-makers to provide production and sales data of diesel vehicles, even as the industry protested any move to raise excise duty on such vehicles, citing country’s fragile economic environment.
Unable to raise diesel prices due to political compulsions, the finance ministry is looking to raiseexcise duty on diesel cars to discourage consumption of this subsidised fuel by personal vehicle owners.
“We have asked the automakers for data related to production of diesel cars. They will come back within a week and then we will decide,” a ministry official told reporters after a meeting with the leading automakers.
Diesel is almost 40% cheaper than petrol, resulting in most buyers opting for diesel cars even though they cost more than petrol ones.
Diesel car sales rose 35% in the last financial year while petrol car sales dropped 15%. Auto industry favours an increase in prices of diesel but not higher excise duty on diesel cars, arguing it would induce distortions.
Head Research Department
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