Bajaj Auto, which claimed it had become BS-IV compliant ahead of the April 1 deadline, on Wednesday blasted the automobile industry’s call for deferring the new emission norms. It said such a demand would increase the perception that the sector does not care for the public wellbeing.
“I don't understand the logic behind the industry’s demand for deferring the BS-IV roll-out from April 1. I hope the government will not buckle under pressure, and if it does, it will only reiterate the world view that we as an industry and a nation are not ready for innovation and lack the ability and vision to look for the long term.
“Moreover, we have been given one full year to prepare for this by the Government and the Environment Pollution Control Authority,” Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj (pictured) told reporters here.
He said Bajaj Auto, as a responsible corporate, had complied with this directive and had been manufacturing BS-IV complaint vehicles from last October and completed the process by January.
“From last month, all our three plants are BS-IV compliant and so are all our models. We have thus ensured that all vehicles presented for registration from April 1 onwards will meet the new emission norms,” Bajaj said.
Requesting the Centre to stick to the deadline, he said, “At least. the government should not commercially penalise those companies which have worked overtime to meet the deadline by extending the deadline.”
Asked if the government gives into the industry demand to allow registration of BS-III vehicles made before April 1, what could be the loss on Bajaj Auto, he said, “We will face commercial losses by way of lower sales. But, that will be an incentive for those players who are either less competent than us or are simply lazy to innovate for the larger interest of the nation.” Stating he does not understand the logic behind the demand for deferment even after getting one full year to switch to new system, the industrialist said the government is expected to honour its commitment to the nation. Bajaj said his firm had passed on the additional cost to consumers by increasing vehicle prices between Rs 1,000 and Rs 7,000, depending on the model.