Chandigarh: The Punjab bicycle industry has sought exemption from import duty on battery and excise duty on battery-operated vehicles in the union budget to boost the environment-friendly bike industry.
“The union government should abolish import duty on battery, which is a key input for e-bike, and reduce the excise duty on sale of e-bike in the budget,” Hero Exports (part of Hero Cycles) senior vice-president Ashok Abrol said.
E-bike manufacturer pays 34.71% duty on imported battery, which includes import duty, countervailing duty, special additional duty and education cess. “If the cost of e-bike is Rs29,000 then battery’s cost is around Rs6,500, which is quite high,” he said adding that “excise duty of 8% has also been imposed on e-bike.”
Urging the government to promote the use of alternate technology, he said it should also provide tax exemptions for 7-10 years for setting up new projects in this area.
“The government may allow duty free import of machinery and provide capital subsidy for setting up plants,” he said.
In addition, the e-bike industry also asked the government to provide cash incentive of 15% or Rs5,000, whichever is higher to a e-bike buyer.
Meanwhile, the traditional bicycle industry, which is struggling to sustain its position in domestic and export markets due to rising steel prices, has urged the government to do away with the duty on imported steel and scarp, including secondary material.
They also urged the government to raise the minimum price of steel for export by Rs 2000 per ton compared to domestic prices to ensure that sufficient steel is available for the industry.