Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the government has no intention to ban petrol and diesel vehicles.
"There were discussions and the ministry had received suggestions that petrol-diesel vehicles should be banned. I would like to clarify that the government does not intend to ban petrol and diesel vehicles. We are not going to do anything like that," Gadkari said, addressing a gathering at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) annual convention, 2019.
The Union minister also outlined that India's automobile industry had witnessed high volumes in terms of exports and the industry is providing tremendous employment opportunities.
Mentioning that reducing pollution is in the national interest, he said it was not correct to blame only vehicles for the problem of pollution. "Yes, they share some of the onus," the minister added.
"The pollution in Delhi affected the health of everyone and the world has also been critical about it. A Rs 50000 crore plan has been devised for Delhi to identify spots which cause pollution. Due to this, around 29 per cent pollution in Delhi has been controlled," the Union minister said.
The BJP leader said the government has reduced GST on electric vehicles. "I am trying to convince the finance ministry to think about hybrids too," he said.
Stressing that the automobile sector needs to focus more on quality, he said: "India can become number one manufacturing hub. The automobile firms should be quality-centric, not cost-centric."
"The condition of the state transport corporation is not good. The government is putting all the efforts to bring the London transport model," the Union minister added.
Emphasising on public transports, Gadkari said: "Public transport has potential. If we implement the London transport model then 12-15 lakh new buses will become operational."
He added that new technologies are a must to expand the business.