09:51 GMT24 November 2020
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    India’s Minister of Defense has expressed his anguish over the ban on diesel cars in Delhi and said that it is detrimental to the investment climate in the country.

    The Indian Supreme Court (SC) — the country’s highest court — recently extended a ban on the registration of diesel cars with an engine capacity of over 2000 cc in the National Capital Region (NCR) in a bid to clean up Delhi’s toxic air.

    However, this order has not gone down well with the central government. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar recently termed the order "unscientific and unreasonable."

    On December 16 of last year the Supreme Court banned the registration of new diesel guzzling luxury cars and SUVs with an engine capacity of over 2000 cc until March 31, 2016. The court continued the ban even after March 31, which was not welcomed by either the industry lobbies or the central government.

    Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar stated that some of the directives of the judiciary were "senseless" and said that the Court had been issuing directions "without any scientific basis," while adding "Some people who do not understand science have begun interpreting it.”

    According to Parrikar, court orders are hurting foreign investment. “We welcome the ban on polluting vehicles, but why ban (diesel) vehicles with reduced pollution emission rather than their petrol counterparts. Car manufacturers like Mercedes Benz have stopped investment in our market as they fail to see any logic in the court’s decision,” he stated.

    Industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had already questioned the SC order. According to SIAM, the diesel ban in Delhi, which had been in effect since December 16, has cost nearly 5,000 jobs in the automobile sector.

    Additionally, it has led to a production loss of about 11,000 units. The SIAM said that there is no link between engine capacity and engine levels. It believes the ban, without a comprehensive policy, could be disastrous for the industry.

    However, the 'green lobby' had hailed the SC for controlling the diesel cars. Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment said that, “It’s a welcome step towards a green and clean environment. But the government is not happy because they are striving hard for foreign investment."


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