Union minister for road transport Nitin Gadkari lashes out at Niti Aayog’s proposal of banning petrol and diesel-run vehicles of some classes. He said that the Centre will not impose any such restriction and that the decision has to be taken by the transport minister and not the think-tank.
Niti Aayog had proposed to ban sales of three-wheelers using petrol or diesel by 2023 and two wheelers with petrol engines smaller than 150cc by 2025. The move faced heavy criticism from the automobile industry, which is currently reeling under its worse slowdown in two decades.
“As a transport minister I have clarified many times there was some proposal by Niti Aayog but I am the transport minister and Niti Aayog is not the authority on this. I have always said that there is no time limit for converting to electric vehicles and we are not against petrol and diesel vehicles. But at the same time, we are encouraging electric vehicles. Electric public transport is our priority. We are encouraging public transport on alternative fuel and electric but we are not going to ban anything on petrol and diesel as we understand the importance of the industry. Let market decide what to do,” Gadkari said at the annual Mindmine Summit 2019 held in New Delhi on Friday.
On Friday, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced BS-IV vehicles purchased till 2020 will remain operational for the entire period of registration.
Gadkari also said, the Centre will soon allow announce a vehicle scrapping policy in a bid to provide relief to the automobile sector, which was also reiterated by the finance minister later in the day.