May 07: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari today held a meeting via video conferencing with the members of SIAM Institute on the impact of COVID-19 on the auto sector. It was attended by MoS Gen (Retd) V K Singh, Secretary RTH Shri Giridhar Aramane, and senior officers of MoRTH.
During this interaction, members expressed concerns regarding various challenges being faced by industry amid COVID-19 pandemic along with few suggestions and requested support from the government to keep the sector afloat.
Shri Gadkari suggested to focus on enhancing liquidity in business, as ups and downs are common. He added that one needs to plan for bad times while working for growth. Shri Gadkari also said that industry should focus more on innovation, technology and research skill to become competitive in the global market. He informed that he has set a target of constructing roads worth Rs 15 lakh crore in the next two years. He said, his ministry is working overtime to clear all arbitration cases with concessionaires.
Shri Gadkari responded to the questions from representatives and assured all possible help from the government. He informed that he would take up the issues at the appropriate level in the govt and other departments.
The Minister informed that he has directed the ministry officials to finalise the auto scrapping policy quickly, and said, it will go a long way in cost reduction. He also suggested exploring cheaper credits including foreign capital for enhancing liquidity in the automobile manufacturing sector.
On the question of BS4 vehicles, he said, the government is bound by SC verdict on the same. However, on industry suggestion, he will get the matter examined afresh. Regarding relaxations sought on other regulations, Shri Gadkari stated that he will endeavour to provide relief wherever possible where industry is seeking an extension of time.