Gadkari defends Nirmala Sitharaman’s Ola, Uber remark, says it was misinterpreted
New Delhi, Sep 12: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday defended Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's remark on auto industry slowdown in which she said that millennials switching to app-based cab aggregators like Ola and Uber was the reason for the downturn in the auto industry.
Speaking at the launch of the BS6 compliant Honda Activa 125, the union minister said,'' It's one of the reasons affecting automobile sector. Somewhere because of the global economy, business cycle & because of demand and supply, there is a problem.''
''Government is with the industry. It is an employment provider and at the same time, has a great contribution to the growth rate. Finance Ministry and my ministry are seriously considering a lot of things for them. I'm confident that in due course of time, the sector is going to reform,'' he said.
The auto industry has been requesting the government to reduce the GST rates by 10 per cent. Speaking on the same Gadkari said, "I have discussed with the Finance Minister and the FM will decide in consultation with state governments. The ball is in the court of Finance Ministry as far as GST rate cut decision is concerned".
Earlier, Sitharaman had said, "Automobile sector, in particular, has been affected by several things. These include BS6 (Bharat Stage 6) movement, the registration fee issue that has been deferred till June and the mindset of millennials, who are now preferring not to commit EMIs to buy automobiles but prefer to use Ola or Uber or take the metro,".
The remark draws the attention of the critics and was criticized by the opposition leaders. Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Wednesday took a jibe on Sitharaman's remark and in a rhetoric tweet said, "Modi Ji's Twitter followers have crossed 50 million. The economy will cross 5 trillion (dollars), but how? Youths are not getting jobs. Will you hold opposition responsible even for this. Uber, Ola has ruined everything (Uber, Ola ne sab kar diya bantadhar)."