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Heavy Industries Ministry seeks duty sops for SUVs

The Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to withdraw 3 per cent-hike in excise duty on sports utility vehicles (SUVs) or exempt such vehicles priced up to Rs 10 lakh from the levy.

'Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises has requested Ministry of Finance either to withdraw the additional three per cent excise duty imposed on Sports Utility Vehicles or to exempt all such vehicles classified as SUV that have an assessable value up to Rs 10 lakh,' Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Praful Patel informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The present notification issued by the Finance Ministry for the levy of additional 3 per cent excise duty will further impact the industry and will also discourage consumers as the commonly used vehicles in rural and semi-urban area have come under this, the Minister said.

Major car makers have reported decline in sales for March, reflecting the continuing demand slump that the auto industry faced in 2012-13 fiscal. Passenger car sales growth rate plunged to a 12-year low in February, registering a 25.71 per cent decline as high fuel prices, interest rates and low consumer sentiments took a toll. Earlier, the Minister had written to Finance Minister P Chidambaram urging him to withdraw the duty which was announced in the Union Budget 2013-14.
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