In another attempt to curb air pollution, the Union governmnet is planning to to propose imposing an additional 10% tax on diesel engine vehicles. Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday that he will make the proposal to the finance minister later in the day. India is world’s third largest car market.
“Say bye to diesel soon, otherwise we will increase so much tax that it will become difficult for you to sell these vehicles,” Gadkari said at a convention in New Delhi. On Tuesday, following Gadkari’s announcement, shares of automakers Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra and Ashok Leyland fell between 2.5% and 4% after the minister’s comments.
As measures to air pollution, the government is already planning to ban BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers immediately in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar if the AQI crosses the 400 mark.
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body formed under an Act in 2021, had amended the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), first notified in 2017, in July last year also to ensure proactive implementation of anti-air pollution steps based on forecasts —up to three days in advance. Earlier, the authorities would implement these measures, including banning construction and demolition work, entry of high-emission vehicles and the use of coal and firewood, only after the pollution level touched a particular threshold.
(With Reuters inputs)