Govt to help Auto firms | india | Hindustan Times
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Govt to help Auto firms

Govt assures domestic and global auto firms all help such as granting SEZ status and a re-look at the tax structure.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2006 22:32 IST

Government on Wednesday assured domestic and global auto companies all help such as granting SEZ status and a re-look at tax structure for setting up testing centres and manufacturing plants in a bid to make India the automotive hub of the world.

"We realise the tremendous opportunities in auto sector. Government is committed to take all steps to encourage auto firms invest in setting up testing centres and manufacturing plants," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said at the Tenth Asia Pacific Automotive Industry roundtable here.

Nath said a lot of auto firms have evinced interest in setting up Special Economic Zones and the ministry was considering their applications.

Emphasising that India provided a level-playing field to both domestic and foreign companies, he said government was aware that tax policies "sometimes put auto companies at a disadvantage... We are looking at this issue."

Auto sector provided direct jobs to half a million people besides another ten million indirect jobs, Nath said, adding the emphasis of the government was to create more jobs and the auto sector had immense opportunities in this area.

The Indian car market was domestic demand-driven, he said but added that exports also provided huge scope for growth. Indian auto exports were 4 billion dollar last year but nearly 75 per cent of exports were cars, he said, adding there was a need to push sectors such as commercial vehicles as well.

Inviting global firms to invest in the country, he said India had a talented resource pool as well as world-class software, product design and engineering capabilities.

Indian companies, in turn, were also capable to exploit the opportunities arising out of the restructuring of many US and European auto firms, he added.