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Auto industry needs help: Govt

autos Updated: Dec 03, 2008 21:10 IST
Sumant Banerji
Sumant Banerji
Hindustan Times
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With the automobile industry in the country batling the declining demand in unhelpful financial conditions, the government takes note of the situation and feels that the auto sector “needs help”.

The department of heavy industries, which is the ministry in charge of the sector, has said that it will talk to the finance and commerce ministries to find some solutions.

“The industry is asking for excise cuts and restoration of some benefits for exports,” said Surajit Mitra, additional secretary, ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises. “We will engage with the finance and commerce ministries to discuss how the industry can be helped. The global recession has impacted exports and though the domestic market is better, it still needs help."

Market conditions and liquidity crunch apart, the industry has also been hit in recent times by a series of steel import items being removed from the open to the restricted category.

"We will write to the ministry of steel bringing to notice the fact that there is shortage in availability of some of these items in the domestic industry. Though imports have not been banned but licensing is also a cost as well which is unnecessary," he said.

There is, however, not going to be any change in the targets earmarked under the ambitous Automotive Mission Plan 2006-16 yet. "These targets are for the long term and if there is a downturn today there will be an upturn in future as well," he added.