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Maruti chief says advancing date of implementing BS-VI norms to result in sharp hike in car prices

Indian automakers have slammed the government's decision to advance implementation of the Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) norms to April 2020, claiming it would increase the cost of cars.

R.C. Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki, cited an IIT Kanpur study, which claimed cars contributed a mere two per cent to overall pollution. "People should not be surprised when they don't see any perceptible change in air quality even after implementation of Bharat Stage VI norms," he said.

Bhargava also warned that the move to implement BS VI auto fuel emission norms in just four years would raise car prices by between Rs20,000 and Rs200,000. He said it would be a challenge for automakers to upgrade technologies to meet the BS VI norms, which would correspond to Euro norms.

The veteran auto industry executive wondered whether it was necessary to concentrate 90 per cent of our energy on a source that accounted for just two per cent of pollution.

Union roads and highways minister Nitin Gadkari had announced on Wednesday that the government had decided to implement BS-VI emission norms from April 2020. He described it as "a revolutionary decision important to address pollution."