NEW DELHI: Criticising the government, Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj on Tuesday said over-regulation is killing the auto industry. While several top automakers have quoted factors such as economic slowdown, stress in rural sector and rise in vehicle costs for the dampened consumer sentiment in recent times, none have so far said it was due to over-regulation.
“If the real issues are addressed, only then can we see some chance. Addressing peripheral issues has never solved any problem… The most important reason for the current slide is over-regulation by the government. We are budget-agnostic. Over-regulation is killing the industry,” Bajaj said during the launch of the company’s first-ever electric vehicle, Chetak.
The increase in price of a two-wheeler by almost 30 per cent in the last 18 months is a big reason for the current slowdown in auto sector and the upcoming BS-VI emission norms will further impact the industry, he added.
“The price of owning a two-wheeler has gone up by 30 per cent in 1.5 years. Does the government have the humility to reflect and roll back some of this? Can they absorb some of the hit by BS-VI?” Bajaj asked.
The Bajaj Auto managing director said he does not think there is anything that the upcoming Union Budget can do to solve the industry’s problems. Like many automakers, he also advocated a decrease in GST rate from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. This would provide some relief to the auto industry, according to him.
India’s automobile industry, in 2019, faced its biggest slump in sales in over last two decades. According to SIAM data, total auto sales declined by 13.77 per cent to 2,30,73,438 units in 2019 from 2,67,58,787 units in 2018.
Two-wheeler price surge
The increase in price of a two-wheeler by almost 30 per cent in the last 18 months is a big reason for the current slowdown in auto sector. The upcoming BS-VI emission norms will further impact the industry, the Bajaj Auto managing director said