The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has lauded the Delhi Budget for fiscal year 2016-17 as a major step in the direction of sustainable mobility of the state.
The State Budget aims to boost the public transport system which in turn, is expected to translate into lesser use of personal transport for daily commuting and lead to lesser congestion on roads.
The apex auto industry body said the Finance Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia has also given the much-needed impetus to electric and hybrid vehicles. Sisodia announced that the government will exempt road tax on registration of electric vehicles to promote electric and hybrid vehicles. On the same lines, the VAT rate on battery operated transport means – e-rickshaws, battery operated vehicles and hybrid automobiles – is proposed to be reduced from 12.5% to 5%. SIAM is hopeful that other state governments take note of this initiative and support the development of EVs/HEVs in the country.
The Delhi Budget also announced that the government will procure 1,000 new standard size UBS-II-compliant, low-floor, non AC buses and 1,000 new buses under the cluster scheme to be added in 2016-17. The government also plans to introduce 1,000 buses in the premium category through a purely market-driven model to encourage people across strata to use public transport. About 248 new mini-buses are to be inducted, increasing the total fleet of metro feeder buses to 517 on 93 routes during 2016-17. These steps in totality would lead to a more robust public transport system.
SIAM believes that these steps taken towards strengthening the public transport system would go a long way in addressing the issue of traffic on road.