Tax diesel cars Rs 1.6 lakh extra: CSE

Cars diesel

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) today demanded an additional duty of up to Rs 1.62 lakh on big diesel cars to prevent the misuse of subsidised fuel for luxury.

While blaming the government for its inaction over the issue, the NGO also hit out at the auto industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and vehicle makers for "propagating false information" about diesel technology and amount of the fuel consumed by cars and personal vehicles.

"Any car is a luxury. A car owner should not enjoy any subsidy. There should be additional duty on diesel cars to equalise the subsidy benefits given on diesel and petrol," CSE Executive Director (Research and Advocacy) and Head (Air Pollution and Urban Mobility) Anumita Roychowdhury said.

She said the recommendations of the Planning Commission's Kirit Parikh Committee of an additional Rs 81,000 equaliser excise tax for small cars with engines of less than 1,400 cc should be implemented in the Budget for 2012-13.

"This amount should be doubled for bigger cars for equitable sharing of burden," she added.

Urging to implement the proposal, CSE has already submitted a memorandum to the Finance Ministry, she said.

Stressing that consumers should be given equal excise benefit, Roy chowdhury said: "Government is responsible for taxation and pricing. It has to equalise the prices. If it can not correct it immediately, then additional policy steps must be taken to prevent misuse of diesel for luxury.

"With each litre of petrol replaced by diesel to run a car, the excise earnings of the government drop seven times. The effect of increased use of diesel in cars is so dramatic that the excise earnings from both diesel and petrol has nearly equalled."

Commenting on the findings of a joint report by SIAM and 12th Planning Working Group on Petroleum Sector (WGP), Roychowdhury said: "Their data is showing just 8.8 per cent of total diesel consumption is by cars, jeeps, MUVs, taxis and three-wheelers.

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