Scaling up efforts to push eco-friendly transportation in the country, the government has decided to do away with permits for electric vehicles (EVs) and those that run on alternative fuels. "We have decided to exempt EVs and all vehicles, including auto rickshaws, buses, taxis, run on alternative fuel like ethanol, biodiesel, CNG, methanol and biofuel, from permit requirements. We have taken the decision to make these permit-free," Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said yesterday.
Addressing the annual convention of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in New Delhi, he had added that the states have agreed to abide by this decision as the recommendations came from a Group of Ministers of states, headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan.
The Union Minister did not disclose the timeline for implementing this decision. However, sources in the know told The Economic Times that it might happen withing the next three months. According to Gadkari, bio-CNG powered vehicles are also being considered for the relief, but hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles will miss out on it.
A permit is an instrument issued by a State or Regional Transport Authority authorizing the use of a motor vehicle as a transport vehicle in a specified manner as per the relevant provisions of Motor Vehicle Act. The types of permits that apply for commercial vehicles include contract carriage bus permit, goods carrier permit and cab permit, among others. So the move to end the permit raj for green vehicles will save owners time as well as money.
Urging automakers to focus in this direction, Gadkari said that demand for EVs could also be created by mandating cab aggregators like Ola and Uber to induct a certain percentage of such vehicles in their fleet.
However, he ruled out any financial incentives in the offing. "With GST at 12 per cent on EVs, I don't think there is any further need for subsidy... we need to think innovatively to bring in that environment. My ministry has prepared a detailed report to raise production of EVs through non-fiscal initiatives in the next five years," he clarified. The ministry is reportedly aiming for at least 15 per cent EVs in the country in the next five years.
Furthermore, the transport ministry has done away with the requirement of local testing for initially bringing EVs into India for sale. "This will be available for limited number of pieces in the domestic market and if the customers' response is positive then these companies can start making the vehicles in India," said Gadkari. The daily added that EVs imported for testing will be exempted from duties.
The minister's statements came just a day ahead of the launch of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India scheme's second phase. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to launch it today. Official sources told PTI that FAME II offers incentives for mass adoption of EVs with an outlay of Rs 5,500 crore. In fact, the government expects to see an eight-fold increase in the sale of EVs in this phase.
Interestingly, Gadkari also announced that steps will be taken to do away with the requirement of speed governors citing availability of better highways. He added that speed was not the only reason behind accidents.
With PTI inputs
Edited By Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal