New Delhi, Mar 31: In a bid to promote electric vehicles in the country, the government today announced setting up of an apex body -- National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM).
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet, which also cleared another proposal to establish the National Board for Electric Mobility (NBEM).
Announcing the decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the auto industry worldwide has been moving towards eco-friendly and alternative mode of transportation, and it is high time that India also move towards that direction.
After the formation of National Automotive Board (NAB), it will be the technical adviser and secretariat for both NCEM and NBEM.
However, the proposals will not involve any financial implication, Soni added.
"The promotion and manufacturing of electric vehicles is being taken up on a mission mode approach as ''National Mission for Electric Mobility''," she said.
Later, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel, who will chair the NCEM, told reporters that the aim is to create a fair capacity of hybrids and electric vehicles in the next five years.
"The success of production or how cost can be lowered could be done through direct or indirect subsidy," he added.
NCEM will comprise ministers from the key central government ministries and departments, representatives from the industry and academia.
It will be aided by a 25-member NBEM, which will have a member list consisting of secretaries of stakeholder central government ministries and departments, people from industry and academia.
"The National Council and the Board will be serviced by NATRiP Implementation Society (NATIS) for the time being and in future by the National Automotive Board (NAB), which is being created," the Cabinet said.
In order to encourage manufacturing and selling of alternative fuel-based vehicles, the government had proposed to set up a National Mission for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles during the Budget for 2011-12.
The Budget had also proposed to cut excise duty on development and manufacturing of hybrid vehicle kits to 5 per cent from 10 per cent earlier, besides fully exempting customs and counter-vailing duty on import of special hybrid parts.
In Nov last year, the government had announced a Rs 95 crore incentive package for the electric vehicle makers for the remaining part of the 11th plan.