When asked if the GST on automobiles will be cut ahead of the festive season, Sitharaman said, "There is a demand to consider reduction of GST rates, what will be considered I can't say, as it has to be decided by the GST Council, she said when asked if the GST on automobiles will be cut ahead of the festive season". "Transition to Bharat Stage VI emission norms and higher registration fee have also affected the sales", she added.
Sitharaman was addressing media on "100 Days of Bold Initiatives and Decisive Actions" of the government at 2 pm at Chennai. The Finance Minister has said that BS6 vehicles are having an impact on the auto industry.
While the Finance Minister did not give any clarity on what the Centre is doing to address the slowdown, she said that the government is talking to the industry to see how best it can help them. The auto industry has been hoping for a GST rate cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent to bring it out of a demand slump.More news: Explosion occurs in Kabul near U.S. embassy
One of the reasons for the slowdown, according to the Finance Minister, was "change in the mindset" of the people, who, she said, are now using cab aggregators like Ola and Uber as well as public modes of transportation. She said that work is going on on the suggestions received from the industry for auto components.
The Finance Minister also assured that a decision on GST rate cut for vehicles will be taken soon. The industry saw a 12.25% decline in production in April-August 2019 compared to past year.
The automobile sector saw its worst sales performance in August as it declined 23.5 per cent, the worst in the past two decades.More news: Stampede during religious event in Iraq leaves at least 31 dead
She said the sector has been impacted by a number of factors.
The sales of cars and utility vehicles witnessed the worst monthly decline in August, with domestic sales of passenger vehicles falling 31.6 per cent year-on-year to 196,524 units in August, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers Monday - the lowest number since 1997-98 when SIAM started recording data. Dips and rise in GDP growth do happen, but we are not sitting without responding to boost it.
As for the bank consolidation plan announced recently, she said the boards of the lenders will decide the next move on this.More news: Hong Kong protesters urge Trump to 'liberate' their city
Sitharaman said that the government, as part of its move to make India a Dollars 5 trillion economy, has chalked out various measures, including infrastructure spending and merger of public sector banks, among others. "Our full focus now is on how it will rise".