Nitin Gadkari Says, Finance Minister's "Ola, Uber" Remark Misinterpreted

Nitin Gadkari Says, Finance Minister

Nitin Gadkari Says, Finance Minister's "Ola, Uber" Remark Misinterpreted  (file image) 

New Delhi: Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways said that the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's statement on the slowdown in the auto sector contributed by Ola and Uber was misinterpreted. 

The statement of the Union Minister came when he was speaking earlier today at the launch of the BS6 compliant Honda Activa 125 scooter. Mr Gadkari said that there were, in fact, many reasons for the slowdown. Earlier this week, Sitharaman said that millennials switching to app-based cab aggregators like Ola and Uber was the reason for the downturn in the auto industry. The statement was met with a lot of criticism on social media.

The Union Minister elaborated on the slowdown said that there were a number of other reasons for the auto industry witnessing discouraging volumes month-on-month. Mr Gadkari said that the switch to e-rickshaws slowed down the sale of ICE auto-rickshaws, while another contributor was the improvement in public transport across the country. The Minister of Road Transport and Highways had further explained that the Finance Minister said that are a lot of reasons for the slowdown, and the Ola, Uber is one of those reasons.

Also Read: Abhishek Singhvi Takes A Dig At Finance Minister, Says "Uber, Ola Ruined Everything"

The government has been requested by the industry, for a temporary boost to revive demand in the auto sector. There have been demands for a reduction in the GST rate by 10 per cent. Speaking on the same, Gadkari said that any decision on GST will be taken in the GST council.

"I have discussed with the Finance Minister and the FM will decide in consultation with state governments. The ball is in the court of Finance Ministry as far as GST rate cut decision is concerned," Gadkari said.

He also spoke about the scrapping policy, which is part of the stimulus package for the revival of the auto industry. Speaking on the same, he said that the government welcomes entrepreneurs for scrapping ideas for two-wheelers and cars.

The union minister had further elaborated that there have been some problems with the stakeholders that have led to delays. His ministry is working with the Finance Ministry to finalise the scrapping policy. It will be announced soon. "The industry has a lot of employment potential, and this is the transit period with some problems here and there," he added.

"Leadership from manufacturers and support of the government will help overcome all problems in the auto industry," said Gadkari.

One of the worst slowdowns in the past two decades has been experienced by the Indian auto sector. According to the data put out by SIAM, the passenger vehicle sales registered saw a massive decline in August this year as overall monthly sales dropped by over 30 per cent, the worst decline since 1997-98. Two-wheeler sales dropped by 22 per cent last month with overall sales volumes in the domestic market of 15,14,196 units, compared to 19,47,304 units in August 2018.

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