Training his guns again on sports utility vehicles (SUVs), Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday asked the users of these fuel-guzzling cars to pay full market price for diesel, which is subsidised for the benefit of farmers.
Ramesh, however, made it clear that his "deliberate" criticism of the SUVs need not be seen as him being against the automobile sector.
He had recently called SUVs as "criminals" and "Socially Useless Vehicles" for being bad emitters, fuelling a controversy in the auto sector. Germany, which is home to auto major BMW, had also taken strong exception to the remarks.
"Why should they get subsidised fuel meant for farmers," Ramesh asked, while speaking at a conference on 5th Sustainability Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
"We introduce the (diesel) subsidy for a certain economic purposes but have ended up with a wholly different purpose," he said, favouring incentives to the firms aiming at sustainable development.
Ramesh, however, also made it clear he is not trying to hurt the growth of the auto industry in the country.
"I am not knocking the growth of the automotive industry, but those who want to use diesel cars must pay the full market price for the fuel. Why should they get subsidised fuel meant for farmers?" he said.
The environment minister also said there was a need for creating an incentive structure from a fiscal point of view, particularly which rewards.
"We need to move to a system which looks at rewarding or incentivise those companies that actually promote the objective of sustainable development, that promote energy conservation, water conservation and protection and preservation of natural resources," Ramesh said.