Govt will respond to automobile industrys demand, says FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Whole lot of factors are influencing automobile sector.

When asked about a possible rate cut on cars, Sitharaman said that call would be taken by the GST Council at its meeting in Goa next week.

"Some studies do tell us that mindset of millennials, who are now preferring not to commit an EMI (equated monthly installment) for buying an automobile, instead prefer to take Ola, Uber, everything else, or take the metro".

"The automobile industry in India did have its good time, at least till two years ago".

"This sector (automobile) in particular, has been affected by several things such as the BS-VI movement, registration fee matter...and the mindset of millennials".

Describing abrogation of Article 370 as a path breaking decision of the Centre, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the Congress should speak in one voice on Jammu and Kashmir and matters of national security.

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Sitharaman surprised many by blaming the millennials for the slowdown.

For the fiscal so far, passenger vehicle sales has declined by 23.54 percent at 11,09,930 units, commercial vehicles by 19 per cent at 317,061 units and two-wheelers at 15,14,196 units, 14.85 per cent less than past year.

Vehicle sales across categories, including passenger vehicles (PVs) and two-wheelers and commercial vehicles (CVs) stood at 18,21,490 units last month, as against 23,82,436 units in August 2018, a fall of 23.55 per cent. They also cut production, which led to a decline in dispatch to dealers. Also she lifted the ban on purchase of vehicles by government departments and allowed additional 15 per cent depreciation on vehicles acquired till March 2020. Dips and rise in GDP growth do happen, but we are not sitting without responding to boost it.

Finance MinisterNirmalaSitharaman today shrugged off questions on the GDP growth declining to 5 per cent in the first quarter, saying the ups and down are part of the growth process and the government is responding to the current economic challenges to revive demand and consumption in the country.

She also defended the bank mergers and said the effective dates for mergers should be decided by the bank boards. The banks will benefit from each other's strength.A growing economy needs good banks.

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