Early this month, the Indian government had brought down the GST rate on electric vehicles from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. This time around, the country’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki is pitching for tax relief for hybrid and CNG cars in India. R.C. Bhargava, the chairman for Maruti Suzuki India Limited, emphasised the need to promote hybrid and CNG cars as it will take some time for mass acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) considering its high cost of technology. Currently, the GST rate for petrol and diesel cars and hybrid vehicles is already at the highest bracket of 28 per cent plus cess.
Speaking to the media, R.C. Bhargava said, “Personally we would like to see GST benefits linked to greener/cleaner cars. The Government gave a tax cut on EVs, but hybrid should be given duty cut. There should be tax cut on CNG vehicles as well.” He further stated that the hybrid cars are 25 to 30 per cent more efficient and will help reduce oil imports. Reducing oil import cost is important for industrial development and this is where the hybrids and CNG can help.
Speaking to the media, the company further revealed its plans to introduce a small EV which would primarily target cab aggregators like Ola and Uber. At the same time, the company will also continue to bring in more CNG vehicles. Last year, the company reportedly witnessed a 40 per cent increase in CNG sales and going forward all small cars in the portfolio will have a CNG option.