No petrol and diesel vehicles in India: Nitin Gadkari vows to cut fossil fuel bill

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Nitin Gadkari wants to slash GST on hybrid vehicles and has vowed to rid India entirely of the over 36 crore petrol and diesel vehicles. 

“One hundred per cent,” the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways said when asked whether it is possible for India to get rid of petrol and diesel cars altogether. “It is difficult but not impossible. This is my vision,” Gadkari said. 

He said India spends Rs 16 lakh crore on fuel imports. This money will be used for improving the life of farmers, villages will be prosperous and the youth will get employment, the minister said. 

Gadkari did not give any timeline to meet this ambitious target which even proponents of green energy believe is mind bogglingly difficult. The proposal to reduce GST on hybrid vehicles to five per cent and to 12 per cent for flex engines has been sent to the Finance ministry which is considering the requisition, Gadkari said. 

The minister said he firmly believes the country can end fuel import by promoting the use of biofuels. Environmental activists welcomed Gadkari’s vision for increasing green mobility, but also struck a word of caution by flagging the use of fossil fuels in the production of electricity. 

“In India, we are still heavily dependent on a fossil fuel-based energy system to power electric cars, and this needs to be changed. There is urgent need to ensure 100 per cent renewable energy alongside electric vehicles to tackle the climate crisis,” Avinash Chanchal, a campaigner for Greenpeace India, told PTI. Gadkari said he has been pitching for alternative fuels since 2004 and is confident things will change in the coming five to seven years. Gadkari said he has been pitching for alternative fuels since 2004 and is confident things will change in the coming five to seven years.

“I cannot give you a date and year for this transformation to take place as it is very difficult. This is difficult but not impossible,” Gadkari asserted. He said he firmly believes that given the speed with which electric vehicles are being introduced, the coming era will be of alternative and biofuels and this dream will come true. Gadkari said auto companies such as Bajaj, TVS and Hero are also planning to manufacture motorcycles using flex engines and auto rickshaws using similar technology too were on the way. “I roam around in a car that runs on hydrogen. You can see electric cars in every other household. People who used to say this was impossible, have changed their views now and started believing in what I have been saying for the last 20 years,” the minister said. 



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