Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Twitterati explode with memes after Sitharaman blames millennials for auto industry slump

Twitterati explode with memes after Sitharaman blames millennials for auto industry slump

When asked about the slowdown in auto sector, which is said to be the worst in almost two decades, the finance minister said, "It is true that the automobile sector in India had a good time till two years ago, there was definitely a good upward trajectory for automobile sector". "Millennials prefer to use Ola or Uber or take the metro to buying automobiles", she said in Chennai.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, under fire due to the ongoing economic slowdown, on Tuesday, attributed the slowdown in auto sales to a host of reasons.

Sitharaman was addressing reporters in Chennai to mark the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's first 100 days in office in its second consecutive term. She, however, added that some of the industry suggestions had already been considered.

The automobile sector saw its worst sales performance in August as it declined 23.5 per cent, the worst in the past two decades.

"I can not singularly take a decision on GST rate cut on automobiles". But the GST Council is yet to decide on the rates.

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Vehicle sales suffered their biggest monthly drop on record in August, as deliveries fell 41% from a year earlier to 115,957 units. The GST collection, although higher on year-on-year basis, is still lower than government's expectations of Rs 1 trillion. "Two major announcements were made in August and September and two more are expected", she said.

The finance minister assured buyers and manufacturers that vehicles compliant with BS-IV emission norms registered before March 31, 2020 would be allowed to run for the entire registration period. Automobiles purchased till March 31 next year can avail the benefit of additional depreciation of 15 per cent with total depreciation up to 30 per cent. The GDP growth rate is at five percent in one quarter, we won't compare it with earlier times.

Responding to the criticism of the government accessing the accumulated reserves of the Reserve Bank of India, she said it had been accessed by the governments in the past too. "I am not underestimating it and we are not sitting without responding to do something to boost it, to grow better", she said. "Our full focus now is on how it will rise", she noted. It's based on a formula that has been arrived at by the relevant committees, she said.

She also defended the bank mergers and said the effective dates for mergers should be decided by the bank boards.

On the removal of Article 370, to withdraw the special status of Jammu & Kashmir, the minister said it was a long-time dream of the BJP.

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