Use of SUVs in India is criminal: Jairam Ramesh

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (ANI): Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Friday expressed concern over heavy cars such as Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), saying the use of heavy-sized cars is criminal in the country, as they contribute significantly to carbon emissions.

He said the use of these cars should be discouraged by levying penalty on them.

"I think we seriously need to give thought to a fiscal policy regime that discourages the uses of heavy cars and SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) particularly. It's criminal in India with the type of society we are in. The type of challenges we face, you know, the luxurious growth of large-sized vehicles and SUVs in our country is really a cause for great concern," said Ramesh.

"I get very angry when I see them on the road. And I think the best way of doing in dealing with them is not to prohibit them, but to have a fiscal policy regime that imposes a fiscal levy, a penalty," he added, while speaking during a workshop on promoting low carbon transport here today.

Jairam Ramesh further said the transport sector would soon double its carbon emissions.

"The rate of growth of our emissions is probably going to be the most significant in the transportation sector. In other words, the stock may be only 7.5 percent today, but at the rate at which it is growing, by the year 2025 my own estimates are that the transport sector could well account for anywhere between 14-15 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions," said Ramesh.

"So almost a doubling in the next 15 years, which no other sector is going to actually experience. There is a need to enforce mandatory fuel economy standards," he added noting that the government is subsidising diesel and has a policy for petrol, but the reform on the diesel subsidy has not been implemented.

Jairam Ramesh said that a National Transport Policy Committee has been set up, and is due to give its recommendations on controlling emissions in the coming months.

He dismissed the idea that electricity-generated cars did not pollute, and said they are significant contributors to greenhouse gases as well. (ANI)

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