Import duty cut to hinder industry growth: Tata Motors


Coming out against the proposal to cut imports duty on cars from Europe as envisaged under India-EU FTA, Tata Motors today said such short-term policy shift will hinder growth of domestic automobile industry and investment in the country.

The company said India, with its open liberal policy, has been able to attract many global players that has resulted in helping growth of the industry and any such change in policy will create a un-level playing field.

"It will hinder the growth of the industry. It will also create a un-level playing filed and any short term policy shift is not advisable," Tata Motors Managing Director (India Operations) P M Telang told PTI here.

Under the proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) officially dubbed as Bilateral Investment and Trade Agreement (BTIA), EU wants India to slash import duties on passenger cars.

India is seeking greater market access in services sector among other things. The talks for the comprehensive pact was started in June 2007.

Coming out against any specific reason being given the preference, he said if at all the import duty would reduce it should be for all the regions.

The company and the industry should work out a timeline together to bring down the import duty on cars, he said.

He also sounded cautioned that while taking such steps the government should be careful that investment in the country do not come down, Telang cited the example of Australia, where after the liberalisation policy on cars, the assembly operations in the country had gone down drastically.

When asked about benefits to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), if at all import duty from Europe on car would be reduced, he said it is premature to be specific.

"We had been following the government policy. We have started assembling of JLR models in India. In future also, we will follow government policy." Telang said.