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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 13:44 IST

Govt to promote EV manufacturing, charging infrastructure: Nirmala Sitharaman

To further promote environmentally friendly alternatives, the Finance Minister disclosed plans to launch a biomanufacturing and bio-foundry schemes.

Business Desk
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | Image:Sansad TV
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Interim Budget 2024: In the latest pre-election Budget announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined the government's commitment to boosting the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem in India. As part of this initiative, support will be provided for the expansion of both charging infrastructure and manufacturing facilities across the country.

Sitharaman underlined the encouragement of electric buses for public transportation networks, implementing payment security mechanisms to facilitate their increased adoption. Additionally, she declared the mandatory blending of compressed biogas into compressed natural gas for transport and piped natural gas.

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To further promote environmentally friendly alternatives, the Finance Minister disclosed plans to launch a biomanufacturing and bio-foundry scheme, addressing the need for sustainable, biodegradable production methods.

While there were positive aspects to the interim Budget, Quantum Energy Managing Director Chakravarthi C expressed disappointment over certain unmet expectations. He highlighted the impending expiration of the FAME II subsidy program by March 2024, expressing hope for its extension to align with the government's ambitious target of having 30 per cent electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2030.

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Chakravarthi C suggested that an extension of the subsidy program would have strengthened support for the EV industry. He also noted the missed opportunity to substantially reduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on lithium-ion battery packs and cells from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, which could have lowered manufacturing costs, making EVs more competitively priced and driving consumer adoption.

Additionally, the absence of a standardized policy for the battery-swapping market was identified as a missed opportunity by Chakravarthi C. On a positive note, Seafund Co-founder & Managing Partner Mayuresh Raut welcomed the solar rooftop schemes, anticipating their significant contribution to clean energy goals and the development of EV charging infrastructure.

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Snap E Cabs Founder & CEO Mayank Bindal commended the visionary initiative, stating that it not only accelerates the transition to sustainable transportation but also fosters innovation and job creation within the EV sector.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 13:44 IST

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