Auto Sector Crisis: Nirmala Sitharaman Says Government Will Respond to Demands of Automobile Industry
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Photo Credit: PTI)

New Delhi, September 10: Looking at the ongoing crisis in the auto industry, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government will respond to demands of the automobile sector. According to a report in Mint, she said, “We are conscious that we need to respond. The Finance Ministry has already considered some suggestions of the automakers," while addressing the media on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s 100 days at the office while presenting a report card. Economic Crisis Grips Auto Sector Completely, Passenger Vehicle Sales in August Dip by 31.57% Vis-a-Vis 2018, Suffer Worst Drop in Over Two Decades.

The report further mentioned that the GST Council will take a call on the proposed reduction in the tax rate on automobiles during its meeting in Goa on September 20. Amid the economic slowdown in the country, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) report published on Monday said that the ailing automobile sector suffered its worst decline since 1997-98.  The report further stated that the overall passenger vehicle sales dropped by a significant 31.57 percent last month with 1,96,524 units sold as compared to 2,87,198 units in August 2018.

In July, Sitharaman met representatives from several industries to address challenges being faced by them.  With economic crisis gripping the automobile sector in the country and the sales have gone tremendously down, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari last week had stated that the Narendra Modi government is already with the automobile industry and assured that the Finance Ministry will find out a solution soon.

However, the situation is yet to improve as Ashok Leyland on Monday announced non-working days at its various manufacturing facilities on the back of weak demand in September. The move by the company follows slowdown in the automobile sector that has forced many manufacturers and component suppliers to cut production and plan temporary plant closures.