New Delhi: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday acknowledged the massive slowdown in India’s auto industry and announced that the government had no intention of banning petrol or diesel vehicles in the country.

“The auto sector is not solely responsible for pollution in Delhi,” he said, however, maintaining that he will take up the SIAM’s recommendation of reducing GST on petrol and diesel vehicles with the Finance Minister.

Speaking at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Conclave in New Delhi, the Union Minister took up one of the worst battles of the automotive sector witnessing a steep decline in sales due to feeble consumer demand.

“Government does not desire to raise the limits of the fine. The issue is that a time should come that no one gets penalised and everyone follows the rules,” Gadkari said at the event.

He added, “There is a fact that as far as the present economic data is concerned the automobile sector is facing a problem, because of the global economy, demand and supply. Govt is already with the automobile industry and under the Finance Ministry we’ll find out a solution.”

The BJP leader stated that India’s is one of the fastest-growing economies and it has the potential to “become No. 1 manufacturing hub in the world”. At least 68 projects relating to express highway, and more will be brought into the market in the next three to four months, he said.

“The government will award 5 lakh crore worth construction work in the next three months to boost automobile sector trying to bring reforms in the transport sector,” he further added.

The automobile sector has been crippled from a sales downturn in the Indian economy due to several factors like high GST rates, farm distress, stagnant wages and liquidity constraints.

The sector has witnessed around 2 lakh job losses and is rooting for the government measures to kick-in and reverse the ongoing slowdown.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced several sops to revive the sales across passenger and commercial segments.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, India’s leading automobile company, Maruti Suzuki India Limited decided to shut down the passenger vehicle manufacturing operations of Gurugram and Manesar Plant in Haryana for two days, on September 7 and 9. Both these days would be observed as ‘no-productivity’ days by the company.