Millennium Post

Ban on big diesel cars won't reduce air pollution: SIAM

A day ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on ban on big diesel cars and SUVs in the Capital and NCR, auto industry body SIAM on Friday said such restriction is not going to achieve the desired objective of reducing pollution and will only vilify diesel technology.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also said due to uncertainty arising out of the ban on diesel cars and SUVs of 2,000 cc and above engines, many MNCs have decided to freeze further investments in India until complete clarity is achieved on key policy issues.

"...ban on diesel vehicle is not going to achieve the desired objective of reducing pollution, but will vilify diesel technology which has gone through a major transformation over the last 15 years and today is highly clean, as well as energy efficient," SIAM said in a statement.

A ban on BS IV diesel cars legally encourages old and highly polluting vehicles not meeting the current emission norms, to continue plying on the road, while not allowing new vehicles compliant with current emission norms to be used, it added.

"This is contrary to the objective of the ban. It also gives an impression that there is no stability or predictability in the policy regime which will deeply dent the country's global image as an investment destination and the 'Make in India' priority," the auto industry body said.

Highlighting the implications of such decisions, SIAM said: "Many auto MNCs have already taken a decision to freeze further investments in India until complete clarity is achieved on key policy issues which can have a bearing on their business prospects in India."

The auto industry with a total size of around Rs 6,00,000 crore contribute almost half of the manufacturing GDP of the country and employs more than 31 million persons directly and indirectly.

According to Government's Automotive Mission Plan (AMP), the auto industry has the potential to employ a further 65 million persons in the next 10 years.

"The task before government now is to arrive at a unified stand on major policy issues like the diesel case and clarify the policy to the Courts, as well as globally," SIAM said.

It added that all diesel cars being manufactured today are compliant to the current emission norms set by Government of India and compliant vehicles can never be considered as "polluting", and the 'polluter pays' principle cannot be applied, unless there is a violation of the notified emission norms.

India set to achieve solar energy target, says Goyal
India will achieve the target for enhancing solar power capacity and add 10,500 mw in the current fiscal, New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday. India has set a target of adding 1 lakh mw solar power generation capacity by 2022 which is five times more than the earlier target of 20,000 mw under National Solar Mission. "The way things are progressing we will definitely achieve our target. Solar energy is economically viable," Goyal said at an event here. Some experts and consultancies have expressed apprehension about huge targets of solar power capacity addition during the current fiscal. "Our estimates show that unless challenges like transmission and financing are addressed urgently, the industry will miss the targets by big margins," Bridge to India MD Vinay Rustagi said. However, consulting firm Bridge to India said in its latest edition of India Solar Handbook report released earlier this month that "India is poised to become the fourth largest solar market in 2016, leaving behind three major European solar markets (UK, Germany and France) with expected new capacity addition of 5.4 gw in 2016." The minister said: "A target of adding 10,500 mw solar power has been set for this fiscal. It is four to five time more than last year (target of 2000 mw). For achieving this target we have already floated tenders for 21,000 mw solar power projects during last fiscal. With 21,000 mw of new solar projects out in the market, India has signalled to the world that we're ready to lead."
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