Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra, has recently come out with a statement urging the government to help revive the auto industry which is currently in a downward trajectory. Speaking at Mahindra Group’s 73rd annual general meeting, Anand Mahindra suggested certain temporary measures that would have a positive impact on the industry. Short term measure like – reduction or removal of the goods and service tax (GST), revising the registration fee, and reduction of the increasing road tax, which are currently mandated by the state government.
Elaborating on his request to reduce cess, Anand Mahindra said, “The first measure would be some temporary relief on the GST front either by modifying the slab or if that’s not possible then by reducing the cess or removing it. Another measure would be a relook at the registration fee, we normally don’t look at that but it has gone substantially, and a rollback in the increase in road taxes mandated by the state governments, those too are very high. We do need a rollback at this point to make cars more affordable. I hope with these actions and post most monsoon revival these will set us back on track positively.”
Mahindra also pointed out that he understood the government’s hesitancy in reducing the GST rates. However, he pressed on the need for need short term measure to catalyse the consumption as the slowdown is adversely affecting the GST collection. Mahindra said, “The auto industry contributes to upwards ₹ 1,80,000 crore to the government treasury. The paradox is that though the government needs to be lauded for fiscal responsibility, the current slowdown in our opinion poses a greater threat to the financial arithmetic. According to estimates of SIAM, the industry body, the slowdown has resulted in an 8 per cent loss in GST collection in the first six months alone, so just to catch up with FY 19 GST collection the auto industry needs to grow at least 7 to 8 per cent in the remaining eight months of FY 20 that I hope will happen by kick-starting certain measures.”
Talking about the long term benefits of the temporary reduction in cess, Mahindra said, “I am hopeful that re-energising the auto industry will have a benevolent effect on all things that are connected. Aiding in the revival of the auto industry leads to the revival of freight, the truck industry, and more which will lead to the revival of jobs and employment.”