Members of the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) alleged that a section of automobile dealers were resorting to ‘fake sales’ to buy BS-III vehicles at a discounted price so that they could be resold later.
“We have received complaints that a section of automobile dealers purchased BS-III vehicles over the past two days and got them registered in the names of their family members. These vehicles would be resold at a later date,” said Sunita Narain a member of the apex court appointed EPCA.
An estimated eight lakh BS-III vehicles were lying in godowns and showrooms across the country. Dealers sold two-wheelers and four wheelers at a discounted price to clear the stock.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed an order banning the sale and registration of BS-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from April 1.
The apex court, however, said that registration of vehicles that do not meet BS-IV emission standards is prohibited from April 1 except for vehicles which can provide proof that they were sold before March 31.
“Some people are taking advantage of this. They bought two-wheelers and cars at discounted prices with the aim to resell them later,” claimed an EPCA member in Friday’s meeting.
The matter was given top priority at the EPCA meeting on Friday where members discussed the issue with government representatives from Delhi and adjoining states including Haryana, Rajasthan and UP.
Transport department officials, however, claimed that with online vehicular registration facilities in place in most states, including Delhi, it would be difficult for anyone to hoodwink the law.
“It won’t be a problem in UP as vehicular registration is done online. Dealers have been directed to collect insurance and registration fees and register the vehicle online by Friday midnight. Any registration done after that won’t be accepted,” said a transport department official from UP.
While all states have online registration facilities in place, a few others have taken extra measures to tighten the noose against those trying to circumvent the law.
“Even though we have online registration, we would also issue a fresh series of registration numbers once the March 31 deadline is over,” said a transport department official of Haryana attending the EPCA meeting.
Transport department officials are also keeping a track of the last minute sales of BS-III vehicles in Delhi-NCR and have asked dealers to submit the registration number of cars sold over the past two days.
Demand to remove cess
Meanwhile, member of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers attending the meeting urged that the 1% cess, which was imposed by the apex court on diesel vehicles with an engine capacity above 2000 cc, should be lifted as all vehicles would now be BS-IV complaint.
“When a car is BS-IV complaint that means it is maintaining the standards. Then why penalise it? The cess should be lifted,” said a SIAM representative.
The proposal was vehemently opposed by a section of the members who are in favour of phasing out diesel vehicles.