Supreme Court to decide today how much green tax to impose on diesel car buyers

Apr 30 2016 1:28AM


NEW DELHI: A Supreme Court bench will for the first time hold a day-long special sitting on Saturday to decide the quantum of green cess on the purchase of every diesel car, a decision that could expand the 'polluter pays' principle from industries to individual consumers.

The determination of a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur to go ahead with the scheduled hearing was tested by solicitor general Ranjit Kumar, who requested an adjournment saying all law officers would be travelling to Odisha on Saturday to attend a legal aid meeting being organised under the captaincy of Supreme Court judge Dipak Misra.

The bench asked, "What is the role of the government in this? The issue is related to green cess on diesel cars and all players in the automobile industry have agreed to argue the case on Saturday." Finding additional solicitor general Maninder Singh present in the court, the bench told Kumar to leave the ASG and take all other law officers with him to Odisha. 

"If Maninder Singh remains present during the hearing, he will take care of the government's stand on the issue," the bench said.

The ministry of heavy industries is set to oppose the ban on sale of big diesel cars and SUVs, saying it would impede growth of the automobile industry. After the launch of 'Make in India' campaign, investment of around $5,094 million had come to the country as FDI in this sector, which contributed 18 per cent of total excise duty collected in India, the ministry will argue.

"The industry employs over 30 million persons with a cumulative investment of Rs 143,000 crore. Automobile industry is the fifth largest sector in receiving FDI," it will tell the SC on Saturday.

On March 31, amicus curiae Aparajita Singh had argued against relaxing the ban on big diesel cars and pleaded with the court for imposition of green cess on purchase of diesel vehicles. She said running cost of diesel cars because of their superior fuel efficiency was 25-30 per cent less than petrol cars.

Source:-TOI

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