It refers to twin disturbing news-items firstly Union Finance Minister playing down in Japan the ban on registration of large diesel vehicles in the national capital region as a “transient phase” and Japanese auto giant Suzuki unlikely to be impacted given the overall large market it has got in India because of ban on sale of diesel cars with engine-capacity 2000 cc and above, and secondly Union Ministry of Heavy Industries writing to National Green Tribunal (NGT) not to extend Supreme Court mandated ban to other cities of India. Effect on environment because of diesel-driven cars kept aside, big question is why lower-priced diesel may be allowed to be misused in luxury cars. With net procurement cost including that of processing for petrol and diesel being almost same, diesel in India is deliberately priced lower than petrol so as to keep transportation-cost and subsequently commodity-prices under control. As such there is no logic in having an undesired revenue-loss by allowing production of diesel-driven cars in any engine-capacity leave apart restricting just engine-capacity 2000 cc above.
Union Heavy Ministry should impose a total ban on production or import of diesel-cars in India in any engine-capacity. Considering CNG-fitted petrol-cars exempted under two phases of ‘odd-even’ numbered plying of cars on alternate days, larger public-interest demands that only CNG-fitted petrol-cars may be allowed to be manufactured and import in India.
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