Frequent changes in the tax structure and government policies have given Indian automobile industry some real headaches. But, the long term goal of implementing BS-VI norms on new vehicles sold in the country by 2020 seems to remain unchanged. Like the shift to from BS-III to BS-IV was not given any extra spare time by the government of the top court the same could be expected in the move to BS-VI norms. Government owned oil refineries are being upgraded for the production of BSVI compliant fuel and a massive investment of Rs 30,000 crore is underway to do the same. Talking at a workshop on ‘Converging the Divergence between Diesel and Petrol Prices’ in New Delhi, Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan said that Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) will be introduced by April 2020 and it will be as clean as CNG. The ministry is also looking to reduce the gap between the prices of petrol and diesel. The taxation and duty structure on diesel are lower than that of petrol as it is used more in agricultural purposes and public transportation. Pradhan stressed that the low cost diesel is not meant for SUVs and cars.
The recent clearance of hike in cess by the Union Cabinet is another example on how the government is doing the exact opposite ease in doing business at least in the automobile world. Changes across sectors came first with understanding and implementing GST and now addition of this cess will force automakers to revise prices again. This makes it difficult for any company to implement its future business and product strategy. The ambitious long term plan of executing electrification by 2030 and the short-term plan of BS-VI implementation at the moment remains unchanged.
In November 2016, automakers like Honda Cars India and Mahindra & Mahindra had received BS-VI compliant diesel from Indian Oil Corporation for testing purposes. Five barrels of BS-VI diesel were dispatched from IOC’s Mathura refinery. S M Vaidya, General Manager, IOC Mathura Refinery had earlier said, “Though the government has set a very stringent target of April 2017 for meeting BS IV and April 2020 for BS VI standard fuel quality, the Mathura refinery has completed the target ahead of the set deadline,”.
While automakers haven’t revealed more details on this Yoichiro Ueno, President & CEO, Honda Cars India had earlier commented that “Honda is committed to meet the challenge of achieving BS VI emission norms in the country by 2020. Honda R&amp;D received the first batch of BS VI High Speed Diesel from Indian Oil in November 2016 and is the first automobile company in India to begin the BS VI real drive testing in the country. We are pursuing development testing for Bharat Stage VI emission norms compliance.”Vaidya further added that IOC’s Mathura refinery has successfully demonstrated its preparation of
Vaidya further added that IOC’s Mathura refinery has successfully demonstrated its preparation of first batch of BS-VI fuel in September last year and is ready to serve OEMs as and when required. In the proposed BS-VI fuel the amount of sulphur in both petrol and diesel is limited to a maximum of 10ppm which is similar to that in EURO 6 fuel. After treatment technologies will help in further reducing particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.