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View Poll Results: Government Regulations on Automobile Sector -
1) Good for consumers but not other stakeholders (industry, revenue dept, environment etc) 16 11.94%
2) Good for other stakeholders but not consumers/enthusiasts 23 17.16%
3) Has done a reasonable job of keeping all stakeholders happy. A fine balancing act. 68 50.75%
4) Has held back the automobile sector. Should let the free markets decide. 27 20.15%
Voters: 134. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12th March 2017, 19:33   #1
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Default Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

The automobile sector in India is among the most regulated sectors. In India, both Central and State Governments treat the sector like a cash cow (read taxes). Most of the time, we put on our enthusiast hat and criticize the Government's interference in the sector. But it's not all so bad, is it? How did India end up becoming an automobile manufacturing & export powerhouse? I personally feel Governments since 1991 have done a decent job balancing the needs of customers and all the other stakeholders.

Here are some of the prominent current/ upcoming Government regulations and its effects on customers, road users and automobile companies - are these Good or Bad?


1) Making safety aids mandatory - like airbags, ABS or reversing camera.

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I do not support making things like safety aids mandatory when we know that -

- These aids add to the cost, and reduces affordability
- Pedestrians, 2 wheelers & 3 wheelers constitute 80% plus deaths. Cars? Less than 5%. The reason why we have 150,000 deaths a year is not because cars have no airbags. It's because not enough people are driving cars!
- Aren't we denying people an opportunity to upgrade to a car by unnecessarily increasing its costs? Every rupee counts.

I say let the consumer decide what he wants to buy. If you are fixated on "car safety" all the time, then everybody needs to save up enough to buy a 2 tonne SUV equipped with ESP/8 airbags and nothing else.

2) Mandatory crash tests and rating

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I strongly support regulations that makes crash test & rating mandatory, for each variant of the car (not just base). This will help the customer take an informed decision. Let the customer decide what levels of safety he wants in a car, and how much he is ready for pay for it.

3) Not allowing Bajaj Qute to sell to customers as a private car

Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?-bajaj_qute_car.jpg

What a grave injustice. I'm totally with Rajiv Bajaj on this. How is Bajaj allowed to sell millions of bikes, but not Qute because of "safety concerns"? Incredibly warped logic.

4) Variable central taxes/import duties:

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The central govt taxes we pay on a car is dependent on import content of a car, whether it is just assembled as CKD or fully imported. You pay the lowest taxes on 100% made in India car and insane taxes on cars that are fully imported.

The enthusiast in me hates this idea. Looking at USA prices and Indian prices of interesting cars makes me weep. But I understand what the Government is trying to achieve here. This regulation has probably resulted in India having a strong manufacturing/exports base - resulting in direct and indirect employment for literally millions of people.

5) Not allowing foreign pre-owned cars to be sold in India

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Same as above, makes lot of sense from industry/jobs point of view. Bad for consumers obviously.

But I guess Government could -

- Allow such cars to be sold but with an import duty perhaps?
- Allow certain niche cars to be sold (like convertibles/sports/super-luxury cars) so that it doesn't affect the local industry? That's one of the reasons why import of classic cars are allowed - it does not negatively affect jobs/industry.

Time to petition the Government via Change.org then - does it really work or is it a waste of time?

6) Taxes based on length, engine size etc

Skews the market with no real benefits to customers, car companies, country's fuel consumption, country's air pollution or to the revenue department. And yes, thanks to this regulation, we get to see this on the road quite often -

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To make up for that, we have seen quite a few innovations though - all thanks to the under-4m regulation. This regulation has been solely responsible for the creation of an all new sub-segment of cars -> the compact SUV.

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Stepney mounted on tail-gate not counted. Awesome!

7) State taxes:

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Central taxes have a role to play in gently nudging automakers towards job creation and development of Indian auto/auto component companies. But state taxes are just a source of revenue for the state government. Reduces affordability of cars and indirectly contributes to road deaths by forcing customers to stick to bikes.

8) Differential pricing for petrol, diesel, Kerosene & Jet fuel:

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For us, it is mostly about petrol and diesel - but the real issue is with Kerosene and what it is used for. Without subsidized Kerosene, poor households are forced to burn firewood - which is one of the biggest causes for air pollution deaths in India.

However, the subsidy burden for Kerosene should ideally be borne by ATF completely rather petrol. Ideally, petrol should be priced equal to diesel and sold at cost plus basis with very little tax on it.

Reduce fuel prices, encourage car usage and save thousands of lives a year.

9) Air pollution (banning old cars, penalty on diesel engines based on size, odd-even day usage etc)

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Personally, I have no opinion on this issue!

10) Toll Roads:

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All for toll roads as long as Government uses technology to help eliminate queues!

Last edited by smartcat : 12th March 2017 at 23:33.
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Old 13th March 2017, 10:16   #2
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Definitely good ! Remember, it was because of the government that Indian car manufacturers were forced to move from ancient carburetors to MPFI.

It's also because of the government that stricter & cleaner emission norms are coming (i.e. BSVI). It's due to legislation that cars will become safer & safer (upcoming crash test norms & mandatory safety features).

The manufacturers would never release these initiatives proactively - in a market where head-units are perceived as being of higher value than ABS, car brands have only exploited the situation.

Also a nice thing for us that the auto industry has such weak lobbying in Delhi; no one really listens to the SIAM .

Of course, it's not always positive, and I agree with the following statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
What a grave injustice. I'm totally with Rajiv Bajaj on this. How is Bajaj allowed to sell millions of bikes, but not Qute because of "safety concerns"? Incredibly warped logic.
But not this:
Quote:
The central govt taxes we pay on a car is dependent on import content of a car, whether it is just assembled as CKD or fully imported. You pay the lowest taxes on 100% made in India car and insane taxes on cars that are fully imported.
Want to sell here? Then build it here. Local manufacturing brings investments, jobs, a supporting (parts) industry, real estate demand and greatly helps the local economy.

Last edited by GTO : 13th March 2017 at 10:18.
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Old 13th March 2017, 10:45   #3
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Firstly, great question and poll, and one that will stimulate good debate.

Unfortunately for me, this is the second poll in short succession where I'm unable to select one option, because my opinion varies due to the various issues at hand.

Based on the specific issue, the government might be on the side of the consumer, or might not be fully with the consumer.


The Government Standing up for the Public
Fundamentally, the automobile sector is a commercial enterprise - they seek to maximise profit by giving the least possible. I don't mean that in only a snarky or negative way - as an individual, I'd equally like to get the most while giving away the least. It's this principle that drives the engine of capitalism.

In that respect, we need regulators or regulations to stand up for the little guy - us consumers, to ensure that there's no collusion, price fixing or cheating by the other party. For that, I accept the Government's involvement in putting the regulatory framework and setting up regulators.

On the other hand, I'm also curious and sometimes concerned about under-representation of the public. The SIAM and individual manufacturers are an organized group that can effectively lobby on behalf of the auto sector. However, what manner of representation of the public is present in such cases? And this needn't just be the automobile-buying public, it could even be uninvolved bystanders. For example, would a state government turn a blind eye to some violations (e.g. labour, pollution) to ensure a manufacturer doesn't set up a new factory in another state?

The public has won in certain cases (upcoming crash tests, etc.), has been placed in a state of compromise (crash tests at 64 km/h are optional, only 56 km/h is mandatory, for example), or has outright lost (e.g. Bajaj Qute).


The Government/Law Potentially Overstepping or Not Adapting
These are areas where I feel the government (i.e. any of the 3 branches - judiciary, executive, legislature) has failed in different respects. A convenient example would be the enforcement of the no-sunfilm rule (where I believe a better option would have been to mandate an allowable VLT limit - to enable the need for consumer comfort yet fulfilling the purported safety argument).

Another example might be the approach to surge pricing and putting a cap on it (this is nuanced - I appreciate the government checking to see that there's nothing underhanded going on during surge pricing, but putting a cap on it goes against my free-market sensibilities of letting consumers vote with their wallets).


The Government Standing up for... the Government
However, there are other areas where the government is the direct beneficiary of certain policies, and in these cases it is the consumer who loses out.

There's been mention of differential pricing for fuel (not to mention how deregulated fuel prices are still pseudo-regulated by increasing the tax component when crude prices drop), and the other contentious topic of states defining taxation on vehicles.

In all these cases, the government is the beneficiary of the increased revenue, so we cannot look at the government as a regulator looking out for the little guy. Likewise, SIAM and auto manufacturers will not really care about these issues as they are a cost passed on to the customer (SIAM does wake up due to bans on large diesel engines, etc.).

Taxes are required for the functioning of society, and I'm not taking an anti-tax stance here. However, just as the government believes there is a need for external checks and balances for the automotive manufacturers, there is equally a need for checks and balances around how these taxes are structured, calculated and levied.

So, who stands up for the little guy in such cases? Often, it falls to public-spirited individuals like Waseem (aka Silverwood) to fight it out via PILs at the HC/SC level, or small citizen groups like the ones who protested against the steel flyover in Bangalore.

Last edited by arunphilip : 13th March 2017 at 10:49.
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Old 13th March 2017, 10:48   #4
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

One of the best things that the government did was preventing import of used cars, countries in Africa have become dumping grounds because of this. Liberalisation opened up the manufacturing sector and although taxes remain high on imports (they should continue to do so), we have healthy competition and more importantly, employment.

Market distortion with regard to fuel pricing through taxation still remains a problem.
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:00   #5
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
The automobile sector in India is among the most regulated sectors. In India, both Central and State Governments treat the sector like a cash cow (read taxes).
I do not agree to this statement that the automobile sector is the most regulated. Just because the governments are taxing this sector does not make it the most regulated.

I am not voting on this poll as I feel that the government has not done enough. Till the time the government does not enforce safety regulations and also penalise bad manufacturers (like VW) and also bring in consumer protection I will not feel that they are doing their job.

Last edited by GTO : 13th March 2017 at 11:10. Reason: Typo :)
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:10   #6
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Voted for Option 2) Good for other stakeholders but not consumers/enthusiasts.

The Good part of Government regulations is that technology started flowing to mass market. Once the economy was opened up, the automotive sector also created lot of employment i.e. government action helped.
MFPI, Seatbelts and headlight Adjustment were made standard equipment thanks to Government norms. I do remember Hormazd Sorabjee driving Peugeot 309 for Auto India (red colored car on front page of Auto India) and mentioning that the car had headlight height adjustment but even at highest setting it was a bit low. That was at a time when seat-belts were rare. So the Government Intervention did help. In view of what manufacturers dish out, Government intervention is very much required.

However, what I feel is the bad part : The government is pretty slow. Be it emission norms or safety features/crash testing. Speed at which government is moving can be a bit frustrating. Thankfully when Global NCAP tested cars a lot of things became clear on how honest Manufacturers are. I wish government moved faster. Bharat Stage - I was introduced in 2000, and to the best of my knowledge a plan was put in place for progressive implementation of subsequent norms. But we are still at Bharat Stage IV. On a critical matter affecting lives of citizens, government should have planned well in advance. I am aware that private refineries are capable of providing Bharat Stage - V and VI fuel, but the government OMC are not able to do so. This lack of speed or rather careless approach due to various factors isn't good.

What I consider very wrong and reason why my vote went Option 2 : NGT related bans, fuel quality despite immense government control and very high taxes. The NGT bans were next to meaningless and there is an excellent thread on TBHP (Why engine capacity-based diesel vehicle bans don't make any sense) regarding this. Complete lack of vision, shaken investor confidence and a consumer that very unhappy, confused. Regarding quality of fuel, it doesn't need a lot of discussion as we all are quite aware of ground reality. Govt./Govt. OMC are lacking in this and their accountability is questionable. The taxes on automobiles are pretty high from any stretch of imagination.

Areas of Improvement : Spare part costs and availability.

To summarize : Both Government and Manufacturers are known for betterment of consumers w.r.t. to what they are paying. But Government fares slightly better. On the whole, consumers deserve better than what they have on their plate after paying a lot of money.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 13th March 2017 at 11:13.
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Old 13th March 2017, 16:39   #7
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Voted for - Good for other stakeholders but not consumers/enthusiasts.


The manufacturers are almost certain to mark their prices at substantially higher premiums for incorporating these safety equipments. Government could have made it mandatory for the manufacturers to provide the option for ABS, AIR BAGS for each and every model of their portfolio. Let the consumers decide what they want according to their budgets.

Disappointed that Bajaj is not allowed to sell Qute due to safety issues. It is not a car in my humble opinion. With 217 CC Engine capable of producing 13.2 PS of maximum power, it could have been a boon in any Metro cities. Qute is equipped with Seat Belts, full enclosed hard roof body design which makes it much more safer than autorickshaws. Bajaj has obtained necessary clearance from European Union and are already selling Qute in Turkey.

We should be proud of Bajajís innovation and hope that Qute is allowed to go on sale for public in future.
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Old 13th March 2017, 16:55   #8
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

The evolution from a sellers' to a buyers' market could not have come without government intervention. India is still a benevolent socialist economy when it comes to car manufacturing and purchasing. Apart from regulating pollution norms, safety features and taxes, government of India has made it easier to set up new manufacturing units on one hand and has, through its banks, simplified the process of sanctioning auto loans on the other. These are perhaps the largest factors that have contributed to the proliferation of cars on our roads.

It is true that more often than not, government has dragged its feet in implementing even the simplest of regulations. At times, only a severe jolt in the form of judicial censure or tragic death/s could wake our rulers from the depth of their slumber. A case in point being a rumour that the process of implementation of the new Motor Vehicles Act and the renewed emphasis on air bags, abs and crash tests gained momentum only after the sad demise of a prominent leader in the aftermath of an accident.

Like it or not, government interference is here to stay. The promises of minimum government, maximum governance cannot be fulfilled in the automobile sector.
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Old 13th March 2017, 17:34   #9
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
What a grave injustice. I'm totally with Rajiv Bajaj on this. How is Bajaj allowed to sell millions of bikes, but not Qute because of "safety concerns"? Incredibly warped logic.
Bajaj wants a separate category for itself.
Bajaj demands that it should not be called a car, rather a quadri-cycle.
The reason is, it wants to escape all the rules and upcoming safety regulations which would apply to it if it is categorized as car and mint money by selling glorified auto-rickshaws.

Do not see anything warped in the logic of the Govt.
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Old 13th March 2017, 18:16   #10
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
1) Making safety aids mandatory - like airbags, ABS or reversing camera.

Attachment 1618041

I do not support making things like safety aids mandatory when we know that -

- These aids add to the cost, and reduces affordability
- Aren't we denying people an opportunity to upgrade to a car by unnecessarily increasing its costs? Every rupee counts.
Actually, Indians need these safety features more than most others in the world.
Reason:
1. Terrible driving discipline
2. Bad infrastructure at places

I don't see initial cost as barrier for buying a car, education and consumer awareness is. 10,000 rupees more is not too much of a hike.

If you think we can get majority of 2W riders to switch to cars, you are wrong.


Quote:
3) Not allowing Bajaj Qute to sell to customers as a private car.....
I agree.

Quote:


Reduce fuel prices, encourage car usage and save thousands of lives a year.
I don't think we're heading that way in a few decades. Our cities simply can't handle the traffic mess if everyone uses a car.
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Old 13th March 2017, 18:30   #11
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Voted for - Good for other stakeholders but not consumers/enthusiasts

Why - I include government, excise, customs, revenue departments in the stakeholders list. The insane amount of excise duties, RTO fees etc. just drags down every single car purchase happiness. The car is 10L and bam! you're suddely shelling out another 1-2L depending on which state you live. There's absolutely no demonstrable value for this extra levies. The value may even be insignificant. Their solution? Tax more!

The government (and by that - please note that I include all governments current and previous) has done just the minimal to keep the consumer about there. Where are the laws and changes to the motor vehicle act? Where are the laws regarding pollution? Where are the laws regarding roads, signage and guarantee of service? Answer to pollution - banning older vehicles. Answer to service guarantees - take it up with the consumer forum.

Case in point - VW. My manager drives a VW Jetta in the US. He bought it for around 25K USD. VW offered him 18K USD as a buy back after driving the car for 3 or 4 years (not sure). This is without prompting. Seriously! Here, we have let the company operate at whim, not responsible for what they've done and get away with it in broad daylight. The government's response? Yeah, I thought so. Silence. Meanwhile, my 1963 Ambassador is being flogged for pollution certificates. Yeah, go figure. haha! j/k

It's a clear nexus between the auto industry, the parts operators and the government agencies. The world is all pink for those wearing rose-tinted glasses.
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Old 13th March 2017, 18:49   #12
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

I really think the government has held back the automobile sector and disappointed us motorists in a lot of ways.

We are many years behind when it comes to implementation of safer and newer technologies in cars and the main reason for that is our government.

On one hand govt wants to reduce it's dependency on oil but at the same time they are not willing to give substantial tax cuts on hybrid car's which could have encouraged manufacturers and consumers to lap them up.

We are paying high road tax and you can roughly estimate how high this amount is anually considering the amount of car's sold, yet our infrastructure is still lacking and we still pay up at many toll booths in just a small stretch of road ( Kanyakumari - Chennai ).

I think the following is necessary immediately

1) There must be a clear transparency on how our road tax money is used.

2) Give max tax breaks on Hybrid and Battery operated car's so that even consumers will be encouraged to purchase it.

3) Remove all agents from RTO's and hire enough courteous and knowledgeable staff's.

4) Reduce taxes on car's but bring about restrictions on how many car's a family can purchase. Protecting the local manufacturers due to higher taxes is not needed anymore.

5) This is India, all states are ONE. Don't alienate us by taxing us differently in different states and making it very difficult to move our car's.
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Old 13th March 2017, 18:49   #13
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Great thread. Selected option 3 - even if I don't agree with the current state of regulations in India, I have to agree that the government has a tough balancing act to carry out, and different smart and decent people can have dramatically views on different issues. Thanks, @smartcat for having set out a number of areas for discussions - shall present my views on each one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

1) Making safety aids mandatory - like airbags, ABS or reversing camera.
2) Mandatory crash tests and rating
Taking these two points together.

I think this is the basic function of government and regulation, and is especially important in a country like India where the judiciary is over- burdened and not in a position to provide relief to customers through class action lawsuits. At the very least, the government would need to make disclosure mandatory and carry out consumer education. Between different safety aids, my bias would be for regulation to make those that save lives of bystanders (such as ABS, reversing cameras, and potentially pedestrian air bags) compulsory, with mandatory crash testing, and substantial disclosure in bold letters of crash test ratings which would enable customers to choose models or variants with features that save customers own lives if they do deem it fit. The current situation where manufacturers like Maruti put customers lives at risk by surreptitiously removing reinforcing beams that they use in other markets is unacceptable. Further, the claim that costs will rise and people will be forced to use two wheelers or autos is a red herring. There is a huge gap between two wheeler and car prices - and the cost of mandatory safety aids will not make a difference there.

Similarly, any vehicle that is used for public transport purposes should have all safety aids built in - yellow plates should not be allowed if the vehicle does not meet a minimum 3* crash rating, and yellow plate drivers should lose their license if thy allow passengers who are not buckled up in their vehicles

Quote:
3) Not allowing Bajaj Qute to sell to customers as a private car.

Frankly, in my view, Quadricycles and Auto Rickshaws should not be allowed as public transport vehicles. With suitable crash tests results shown in bold that clearly demonstrate that these are death traps, they could be sold as private cars.


Quote:
4) Variable central taxes/import duties
6) Taxes based on length, engine size etc
7) State taxes:
This is the area where my disagreement with the current state of government regulation is the strongest. I would break this into three parts:

1) Import Tariffs

I agree with a reasonable level of tariff protection to enable industry to develop locally. But in an industry like automobiles where 10% is a very good net margin, a 10% import tariff (which lets someone who would otherwise make 0 margin make 10% pre tax) is MORE THAN ENOUGH. The 60-100% import tariff we charge is ridiculous, and leads to wasted capex in the form of inefficient assembly plants like those of Skoda/VW/Audi, Mercedes, JLR and BMW; loads of scope for bribes arising from classification of imported goods as parts, CKD kits, SKD kits etc; and excessive protection for inefficient local manufacturers particularly, those producing the highest end of locally manufactured products. I suspect that sooner or later, we will have to give this up - and the sooner the better. Without tariffs, India would specialise in the manufacture of small cars for the world (since that is the mass market here), and we would import larger cars.

2) GST or VAT

GST Does not discriminate between locally made and imported products, and is a sensible tariff. The current system of CENVAT and State VATs however leaves a lot to be desired. The most ridiculous and irrational element of this is the Small Car definition (4 metres +1.2 l Petrol/1.5 l Diesel). This has obviously been created due to lobbying by some of our manufacturers, and does not serve any rational purpose. It also endangers lives, as manufacturers remove rear crash protection to get the largest possible sub 4m vehicle, and contributes to the diesel surge as larger polluting Diesel engines are allowed at low duties than petrols.i hope when we move to GST, this nonsense is scrapped, and we move to a simple system based on either value (a higher tax for cars with ex factory price above X) or emissions (though what emissions should be favoured - CO2 or NOX is highly debatable).

3) One Time Tax / Road Taxes

Here, I would suggest the following changes:

- Revenue from road taxes must be ear marked for road building by state governments, and must not go into the common pool
- While OTT is sensible from an administrative convenience perspective, when cars shift states, only the incremental tax should be payable in the new state, and there should be a smooth mechanism to transfer value to different states.

Quote:
5) Not allowing foreign pre-owned cars to be sold in India
We certainly don't want India to become a dumping ground for used cars, especially those that don't meet our emissions and safety requirements. Used cars have an adverse selection problem, and that becomes worse across borders. So while I would not support blanket bans of any kind, every importer of used cars must demonstrate that the used car imported meets current emissions and crash test norms in India, and should be liable if defective cars (that have been in accidents in the country of origin) are imported.


Quote:
8) Differential pricing for petrol, diesel, Kerosene & Jet fuel
9) Air pollution (banning old cars, penalty on diesel engines based on size, odd-even day usage etc)
Taxes on fuel are a must to encourage investment in fuel efficiency. But there is no logical reason for lower taxes on diesel than petrol, or for a kerosene subsidy. The argument that inflation is affected by diesel prices has been comprehensively rebutted time and again. The kerosene subsidy only subsidises the adulteration of diesel and damage to engines / greater particulate emissions. Direct benefit transfer can take care of the need to let poor folks get cheap cooking fuel

Quote:
10) Toll Roads:

All for toll roads as long as Government uses technology to help eliminate queues!
Agree fully
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Old 13th March 2017, 19:02   #14
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

During my MBA days, one of our professors in strategy used to say. In case you are not clear on what you are expected to answer, it is always safe to answer 'Depends' and stay on the wall rather than committing too much into any particular answer. Anyway, jokes aside, here are my comments on each of the poll options

1) Good for consumers but not other stakeholders (industry, revenue dept, environment etc)

Take the upcoming crash test norms for example. They are definitely the right way forward for consumers, but we all know what the other stakeholders (read SIAM, automobile lobby) think of this. This is also not exactly good on the environment because of the additional infrastructure like crash testing facilities using up precious energy and resources in the form of prototypes for carrying out various types of testing. (I must say this effect is negligible, but still!)

2) Good for other stakeholders but not consumers/enthusiasts

The first thing that comes to my mind is the absence of a pan-india tax for personal vehicles. I am a citizen of India and not of a state. Why should I be penalised by way of excessive red tape and the associated taxes when I move states? I don't need a passport to go from TN to Karnataka. Why does my car need NOC and all the related crap to accompany me?

3) Has done a reasonable job of keeping all stakeholders happy. A fine balancing act.

If I had bunked strategy classes and did not know about the word 'depends', this would be the one I would have voted for. For I think the government needs to keep all stakeholder reasonably happy and tread a fine line doing this. Some rules/laws keep the stakeholder happy, while other keep the lobby and the government cash registers happy.

4) Has held back the automobile sector. Should let the free markets decide.

This would have been my least favourable option. A free market is all very good, but at the end of the day, without governing laws, everyone are free to make their own rules. It needs a good controlling hand to ensure that the free market continues functioning like one.

As you may guessed by now. I have not voted in this poll.
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Old 13th March 2017, 19:38   #15
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Default Re: Government regulations on the automobile sector - Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

1) Making safety aids mandatory - like airbags, ABS or reversing camera.

I do not support making things like safety aids mandatory when we know that -

- These aids add to the cost, and reduces affordability
- Pedestrians, 2 wheelers & 3 wheelers constitute 80% plus deaths. Cars? Less than 5%. The reason why we have 150,000 deaths a year is not because cars have no airbags. It's because not enough people are driving cars!
- Aren't we denying people an opportunity to upgrade to a car by unnecessarily increasing its costs? Every rupee counts.

I say let the consumer decide what he wants to buy. If you are fixated on "car safety" all the time, then everybody needs to save up enough to buy a 2 tonne SUV equipped with ESP/8 airbags and nothing else.
Sir, I would respectfully disagree entirely with the point made above. Introducing ABS, ESP & 2 airbag minimum will have the following results:
1) Reduction in crashes caused by vehicles going out of control - especially with inexperienced drivers.
2) Reduction in speed of impact in case accident can't be averted - ABS enabled brakes reduce speed faster than non-ABS.
3) Counting only deaths is a poor metric. If a death can change to serious injury and serious injury can change to minor/less serious injury then you are winning a war. It's almost ludicrous to say that cars contribute to less accidents so let's not make them safer. Further of the thousands who die on bikes, aren't many of them hit by cars? Does the statistic count the car then? No it does not. In fact, that same car with ABS & ESP may be able to swerve successfully and miss the bike or not hit the bike when out of control in the first place.

The economic argument is the worst one to make - it's the reason why we build substandard infrastructure and unsafe cars. It is NOT "better to make it at least". Either make it well or do not make it. Example of expensively constructed Delhi metro proves that a safe, efficient, reliable system can be made which works for the poorer sections.

Finally - and this is proven in the USA - a 2 tonne SUV is not a safe vehicle by default. Safe vehicles are well made, tested and designed. A smaller car with less momentum has less physics to fight against when making an emergency stop. I strongly encourage you to look up statistics in Europe, with small & big cars, of accidents per car pre and post safety features. On a forum such as T-BHP we must encourage EVERY aspect of safety possible even if it only saves one life. That life might be yours.
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