'Auto industry tax as high as cigarettes'

'Auto industry tax as high as cigarettes'

 Calling for a tax-friendly regime for the automobile industry whose sales have been bleeding under the impact of low demand and laggardly economic growth, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice-Chairman Vikram S Kirloskar said on Friday that taxes in the industry are almost the same as that on cigarettes.

Speaking after the 37th AGM of the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bangalore on Friday, Kirloskar said the auto industry has been actively pushing for a reduction in taes and a fleet modernisation plan. “After repeatedly petitioning the previous Finance Minister P Chidambaram, he heeded our pleas and reduced duties. Since April, we have seen improvement in car sales. We saw a rebound in June as well,” he said.

He noted that immense scope exists for improving capacity utilisation in the automobile industry, which currently stands at 60 per cent. “With the right incentives, we see huge headroom potential for the industry which has potential to grow from its current revenues of Rs 4.20 lakh crore,” Kirloskar said.

The industry has lost over 25 lakh jobs. “We have been asking the government to develop holistic policies which will be relevant across heavy industries, logistics, transport, among others. Our vision for the government is to generate additional investments of Rs 70,000 crore and add 25 million jobs in the industry.”

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