New Delhi: Leaders of the Indian automobile industry on Wednesday opposed a proposal by the government to impose higher taxes on diesel vehicles.

The Finance Ministry, which has been mulling over imposing additional levy on diesel vehicles, in the meantime has asked automakers to provide production data of diesel cars before taking a final decision on the issue.

Top executives of automobile companies, including Mahindra & Mahindra President (Automotive and Farm Equipment sectors), Mr Pawan Goenka, Tata Motors Managing Director (India operations), Mr P M Telang and Maruti Suzuki India Managing Director and CEO, Mr Shinzo Nakanishi, today met Finance Ministry officials at North Block to discuss the issue.

“The finance department called the industry leaders to discuss certain issues. The diesel taxation issue was one of them. Higher tax on diesel vehicles is a clear ‘no’ from us,” Mr Goenka told reporters here after the meeting.

According to sources, the finance ministry officials told the automakers to provide data on diesel cars production.

“We have asked the automakers on data related to production of diesel cars. They will come back within a week’s time and we will decide,” an official source said.

Sources said the industry leaders told the ministry officials that they did “not mind raising prices of diesel fuel, but not duties on diesel cars“.

Officials from the Finance Ministry, who attended the meeting included, Finance Secretary, Mr R S Gujral and Central Board of Excise and Customs Chairman, Mr S K Goel.


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