Last year, the month of December brought a piece of news that stirred the automotive industry – ban on the 2000cc and above diesel engine vehicles in Delhi. Since then the fight has been going on in the Apex court to lift the ban. Now the current reports are hinting towards the upliftment of the ban with a one-time payment of green cess, better known as environment compensation cess. Earlier the ban was imposed till 31st March 2016 only but due to the menacing problem of pollution, the Supreme Court of India extended the ban till June 2016.
This information has popped up as a good piece of news for the carmakers, especially those who are dealing in luxury cars. The Apex court, giving a major relief to the automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, etc., has stated that it is remove the ban on the registration of diesel cars in the Delhi and NCR region in case the car manufacturers are fine with the levy of one-time green cess at the time of registration.
The court has already asked the lawyers representing the carmakers to come up with a joint proposal by exploring the chances of imposing the one-time green cess. The court has also made it clear that the one-time green cess will be imposed keeping in consideration the showroom price of the vehicle.
Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justice A K Sikri and Justice R Banumathi, the members of the bench related to the matter, said, "We are inclined to allow registration. We are open to the registration subject to some kind of one-time cess." The bench further stated, "Can you (lawyers for auto firms) ask your people to work out details as to what may be the cess to be levied on such vehicles with regard to the showroom price, etc."
However, nothing concrete has come out as the decision is yet to be taken on the next hearing pending on the 4th of July 2016. The panel also asked about the suggested emission norms to which the lawyers stated that the diesel cars in India are currently as per the Euro 4 emission norms that are applicable in major cities of the country including Delhi.
The plans for Euro 6 emission norms that are much stricter are also in the pipeline. But with the latter norms, major upgrades will be needed in the vehicles along with the oil companies, which will for sure take a good amount of time. The addition of another cess in the price of the vehicle means that the prospective buyers will have to shell out extra amount of penny.
Last year the Supreme Court of India owing to the hazardous increasing pollution level in Delhi imposed a ban on the registration of the new diesel vehicles having an engine capacity of 2000cc or above which affected the sale of SUVs in the Delhi-NCR region from the major players like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Toyota. Since 16 December 2015, the auto giants have been accumulating losses each consecutive month of 2016, but now they seem to have the ray of scope from the next hearing of the matter. Earlier the National Green Tribunal was of the opinion of extending the ban on diesel engine vehicles in other 11 cities.