Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said carmakers must follow the same standards in India that they do elsewhere. (File Photo)
Refusing to budge under any pressure from auto industry on stricter fuel emission norms, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said carmakers must follow the same standards in India that they do elsewhere.
"I do not agree with SIAM. When the same car manufacturers can build cars following the same norms across the globe, then why can't they build it here? The government is not reconsidering its decision," Road Transport and Highways Minister Mr Gadkari said in New Delhi.
In a major step to curb vehicular pollution, the government on January 6 said it will leapfrog directly from Euro IV emission norms for petrol and diesel to Euro VI norms.
The decision to advance the date by four years to April 1, 2020, for implementation of Bharat Stage VI (equivalent to Euro VI norms followed globally) for supply of cleaner auto fuel, by altogether skipping the Euro V grade norms was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting on that day.
Mr Gadkari said pollution is a major concern in the country and automobile manufacturers should come forward to help in curbing it by making BS VI-compliant vehicles.
His statement assumes significance as automobile industry body SIAM has been opposing the skipping of BS V norms to jump to BS VI.
"For developing of vehicles you have to make the Euro V technology first establish over a period of time and then move to Euro VI. That's what technology providers have been saying," SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen said.
"That's how it has been done everywhere. In Europe they did not skip directly to Euro VI. They have gone from Euro V to Euro VI. We will be going for the first time if at all we go," he added.
The decision to leapfrog to BS VI norms has been taken at a time when an intense debate is going on rising level of pollution, while an innovative odd-even formula is being tried in the National Capital to check vehicular pollution.
India currently has Bharat Stage-III, equivalent of Euro-III specifications, across the country and BS-IV in major cities. BS-IV will be supplied in most big cities by April 2016 and all over the country from April 2017.
BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, while BS-V and BS-VI grade fuel will have 10 ppm sulphur.
Oil PSUs will invest about Rs 28,750 crore for switching over to BS-VI auto fuels.