Auto focus

Industry hopes for extension of excise cuts

Our Mumbai Bureau | Updated on December 11, 2014


Carmakers are hoping the sop will continue into the New Year

With less than three weeks to go before the curtains come down on 2014, automakers wonder if the Centre will extend the excise duty concessions beyond end-December.

It was during the Interim Budget in February when the previous UPA regime announced duty cuts to boost sales across vehicle categories. These were to be in place till June 30 but Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, extended the date to the end of this year.

From the auto industry’s point of view, there is good enough reason to keep the status quo intact till Budget 2015 considering that sales are only beginning to pick up. After the two-year slowdown, it is only lately that there are some signs of revival. Reinstating the higher duty levels (12 and 24 per cent against the prevailing eight and 20 per cent) would do precious little to boost sentiment.

It now remains to be seen how the Centre reacts. It has indicated on more than one occasion that it is pro-business and is keen on giving a kickstart to manufacturing activity across the country. The loss in revenue could always be made up once vehicle sales increase and the old duty levels are back in place. The auto industry has no clue what is in store though sources say the Centre is most likely to oblige and let the present duty regime continue. Manufacturers want to see the sales momentum back in place. For the moment, customers are still not buying cars and motorcycles with the same enthusiasm levels seen in 2012.

Published on December 11, 2014

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