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Indian official calls German cars 'criminal'

The Local · 12 Nov 2010, 16:33

Published: 12 Nov 2010 16:33 GMT+01:00

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Expressing his wish for better fuel efficiency in India, Ramesh said people should not be encouraged to buy vehicles such as powerful German luxury cars and gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles.

“The luxurious growth of large-size vehicles like SUVs is really a growth of concern, use of vehicles like SUVs and BMW in countries like India is criminal,” he said at a UN function in New Delhi, according to news agency IANS.

"I think we seriously need to think about fuel policy regime," he added, suggesting that these luxury models were still made because they run on subsidised diesel fuel, making the real beneficiaries the owners of "BMWs, the Benzs and Hondas," IANS reported.

The country should levy extra fees and mandatory fuel efficiency standards on these cars, the minister suggested.

"We cannot ask people to buy or not to buy a particular car. But through an effective fiscal policy, we can certainly have an impact," he said.

A new committee on national transport plans to give recommendations for such a program in just over a year, he added.

Story continues below…

India’s auto market is among the fastest growing in the world, particularly in the luxury sector, with German carmakers expanding their operations there significantly in recent years.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:20 November 12, 2010 by sassylad
He's got a cheek considering that many rivers in India are open sewers and his country is building some of the filthiest coal fired power stations to be built anywhere in the world for some time.
18:12 November 12, 2010 by NYsteve
He's just jealous because all he can afford is a used Trabi....
19:06 November 12, 2010 by marimay
Does that make me a criminal too?

I think over-breeding is criminal...
19:40 November 12, 2010 by Icarusty
Nice to know there are nationalists in India too, I was beginning to think all non-white countries were a walkover for white ones.
19:57 November 12, 2010 by Englishted
Pot calling kettle

"News just in a India firm now owns Land Rover and Jaguar"

Over and out.
21:27 November 12, 2010 by gk24
I could only sense this as a half heard story !

What he said follows

The luxurious growth of large-size vehicles like SUVs is really a growth of concern... use of vehicles like SUVs and BMW in countries like India is criminal

And certainly put a penalty on the type of cars that you don't want to see on the roads which is diesel driven car, SUVs

We are worried and we are looking at how to control these emissions from transport sector. For this to happen, there should be mandatory fuel efficiency standards

If you want have a complete texts here you go


I completely go with him supporting the action against gas guzzlers in India but there is nothing to deal with German cars or American cars. Infact the reason he used might BMW or Audi is that, Q7 and X5 are most sought after SUVs in the market.
21:28 November 12, 2010 by Simon_Kellett
Personally I hate these tanks: tax 'em to oblivion I would say, and not just in India. Oh: and you can tax those sad-o 2 seater "sports" cars (just what is "sporty" about pressing your foot on the gas pedal ?: broom-broom, peep-peep).
08:36 November 13, 2010 by marimay
I'd hate them if I couldn't afford them, too. :)
14:04 November 13, 2010 by akhilm176
Just plain yellow journalism.

The minister( NOT an official, an ELECTED representative) said that SUVs need to be taxed because they are misusing the subsidy on diesel meant to help the poor.

Can't you even get your facts right? Or is it just plain indignation that an 'Indian official' has dared to criticise something from the west?
17:24 November 13, 2010 by csmaass
150.000 fatalities a year on Indian roads are not caused by German fast, but, safe cars, it is a result of ignorant, irresponsible, careless Indian drivers.
18:06 November 13, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Many commentators pointed the error on the article... other commentators continue in error... that's dumb
18:22 November 13, 2010 by voidplay
There was nothing wrong in what he said.

The major cost of food production has mostly been the cost of transport. To keep the cost of food affordable the government spends lots of money subsidizing diesel.

This creates a feeling that "these gas guzzlers" do not have a high running costs compared to the more petrol versions.

It is certainly criminal to used subsidy meant for the poor to feed your appetite for powerful cars.

I think this is certainly better to push the makers to make more fuel efficient cars.

@marimay and for those who want to point out the uncontrolled population growth. Just remind yourself that stretching from the Americas to Australia and the whole area of Russia is populated by people originating from a small area in western Europe. And as far as resource misuse is concerned the area stretches much further to Africa and the middle east.
18:57 November 13, 2010 by beautifulworld
I think the main point is..what would happen to a country that is largely dependent on exports if other countries in the world boycotted or banned their products and instead looked elsewhere for more fuel efficient ,affordable cars..and e.t.c?
21:12 November 13, 2010 by Flying_Blue
An irrelevant title and with all honesty, still quote the full text of the source, The Local Dumb. I would love to work here :), if it is paid.
23:41 November 13, 2010 by E-Roc
German cars/SUVs criminal??? LOL Indian truck shells made out of wood and the countless other "vehicles" that would NEVER pass a German inspection is what is criminal. I spent 3 weeks in India and I even took the same route that is featured on the Ice Road Truckers - Deadliest Roads series from Delhi to Shimla located in the Himalayan mountains. Driving in India makes Saudi and Italian drivers appear sane! Still, will never forget that experience. :)
19:16 November 14, 2010 by wenddiver
If your worried about emissions, you might want to ban all those Jittnies that run on 2 cylinder engines, that mix oil and gas and have no emmission controls.
06:38 November 15, 2010 by Drewsky
I think any' fuel guzzler' should be taxed, in order to discourage ownership. However, picking at particular brand names like BMW or MB isn't the answer. The bar should be aimed at whatever Km/ liter goal is set and leave it at that. (But, I wonder, what are India's EMISSION regulations like ?)
10:47 November 16, 2010 by voidplay
Similar to EU

11:34 November 16, 2010 by PawD
I second Drewsky... what Jairam Ramesh (India's Environment minister) meant was to tax all fuel guzzlers. The industrialised countries already have compulsory emission norms for the industry sector... so why not impose compulsory 'mileage' norms for the transport sector... and why not ban SUVs totally from urban areas... why do people need SUVs in cities anyway?
15:36 November 16, 2010 by yhsanjay
The Minister has studied in the US and he never owned a car there. He used to commute by public transport. Even now he is one of the quite erudite Minister's in our Union Cabinet in India.

His statement is quite sweeping but I am sure he meant that the fuel guzzlers need to be taxed for usage.We already pay huge taxes on ownership at every stage. I too own a SUV.In India petrol does not have any subsidy component by the Govt. and the user pays the whole cost.Petrol runs most of the two/three wheelers and smaller cars (some larger ones too).

Diesel runs our trucks,buses, tractors,taxis, very few train engines (where electrification of the route has not been done) and lately some categories of small and large cars, UV's, MUV's, SUV's, MPV's and so on.

Diesel enjoys Govt subsidy as it was originally meant for public transport, goods movement and so on.This subsidy is meant to control on the price of public transport and commodities. Till the 1980's diesel cars were only allowed to be registered as taxis or government vehicles.

With the relaxation of norms and the proliferation of diesel, luxury cars and especially SUV's, the Minister must have vented his anger with this sweeping statement.

Calling SUV users criminals is too cruel and even criminal. We don't buy SUV's for the subsidised fuel. They can remove the subsidy and we are ready to pay for the fuel minus the subsidy component. They subsidise it and we cannnot be called criminals just as we own these.

Even Porsches, Jaguars, Lambos, Ferraris, Rolls Royces and Bentleys are sold in India- not only German cars/SUV's.Going by the Minister's statement, luxury car/SUV ownership may be termed as criminal in India.

In a free market there are bound to be disparities. Socialism and Communism are retrograde, have failed everywhere and are passe and thats the price we pay for a free market and development.

So lets forget what the Minister says and go ahead and enjoy our drives. To appease Mr Jairam Ramesh or support his inner feelings, the free market reforms in India cannot be reversed under any circumstances.
13:13 November 18, 2010 by zaly
I'm driving a brandnew BMW 325 E90 which is quite expensive here, the goverment charged 300% tax, it's about USD100k and I notice the car is save fuel due to higher technology compared to low end car.
17:29 November 19, 2010 by lal mani sharma
Nice to read that the words of the minister have been twisted beyond its true meaning.It is also nice to read some the comments related to skin difference , mow called racial differences. The minister just said that fuel drinking cars and SUVs must be taxed more in comparison to hatch back cars.Since there is more craze for German Brand cars and German machinery in India the first thing that comes to an average Indian is BMW, Benz VW etc so was the case with the minister.Let me add to your knowledge the Tata trucks were nothing but a product of Benz..There is a big demand for the iconic VWs Beetle car in India but it has been over priced. Please take no offense to the ministers statement and also let us not mix racial talks in a simple speech of the minister.---a public school master
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