New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, under fire due to the ongoing economic slowdown, on Tuesday, attributed the slowdown in auto sales to a host of reasons.
One of the reasons for the slowdown, according to the Finance Minister, was ‘change in the mindset’ of the people, who, she said, are now using cab aggregators like Ola and Uber as well as public modes of transportation. She also listed reasons like the upcoming Bharat stage-6 (BS6) emission norms and higher registration fees.
Addressing a press conference in Chennai, she said, “Automobile sector, in particular, has been affected by several things. These include BS6 movement, the registration fee issue that has been deferred till June and the mindset of millennials, who are now preferring not to commit EMIs to buying automobiles but prefer to use Ola or Uber or take the metro.”
On how to resolve the crisis, she said, “All of us are constantly interacting with different sectors and economic segments not just in Delhi but taking inputs from around the country.”
The remark by the Finance Minister comes amid the overall domestic sales registering a record 23.55% fall, to 18,21,490 units in August 2019. The domestic sales of passenger vehicles, too, declined for a tenth consecutive month, falling a whopping 31.57% to 1,96,524 units in August 2019.
The numbers were released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday.
Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, recorded a 20% drop in sales last month, with Maruti Suzuki suffering a 34% drop during the same period.
On the question of the auto industry asking for a Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate cut from 28% to 18%, she said, “I cannot singularly take a decision on GST.”
Last month, she announced a series of measures, in an effort to help boost sales. Separately, she also announced a merger of various banks in a move to strengthen the banking sector.