SUV owners should pay full market price of diesel: Ramesh

SUV owners should pay full market price of diesel: Ramesh

New Delhi: Continuing with his attack on diesel-guzzling cars like sports utility vehicles (SUVs), environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday asked the users of such cars to pay full market price for the fossil fuel which is being sold at subsidised rates for farmers.

“Why should they get subsidised fuel meant for farmers," Ramesh asked while speaking at a conference on 5th Sustainability Summit organised by CII.

“We introduce the (diesel) subsidy for a certain economic purposes but have ended up with a wholly different purpose...," he said while favouring incentives to the firms aiming at sustainable development.

However, he made it clear that his “deliberate" criticism of the vehicles, which had created some-what of a controversy recently, need not be seen as being anti-automobile sector.

“I am not knocking the growth of the automotive industry but those who want to use diesel cars must pay the full market price for the fuel. Why should they get subsidised fuel meant for farmers?" he said.

Ramesh said there was a need for creating an incentive structure from a fiscal point of view particularly which rewards and added that stimulating sustainable development at the producer-end is absolutely important.

The remarks by Ramesh, who had earlier called SUVs as criminals and Socially Useless Vehicles for being bad emitters, has raised a storm in the auto sector with BMW manufacturer Germany taking a serious exception to it.

The Minister also called for an incentive structure which has to be skewed in favour of sustainable development choice as far as consumers are ready to embrace such mechanism.

“We need to move to a system which looks at rewarding or incentivise those companies that actually promote the objective of sustainable development, that promote energy conservation, water conservation and protection and preservation of natural resources," Ramesh said.