It Won’t Compensate for environmental Damage
New Delhi: Environmentalists and air pollution experts are disappointed with the Supreme Court order revoking the ban on more than 2,000cc diesel luxury cars. They fear that the imposition of 1% green tax on such vehicles will not act as a deterrent.
The SC-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) recently recommended a green tax ranging from 10% to 25%, which would bridge the price gap between petrol and diesel. Some auto companies had, however, offered to pay 1% of the showroom price as an environment compensation charge (ECC). The apex court accepted their suggestion.
According to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the voluntary offer by the car industry to pay 1% of ex-showroom cost of a vehicle as ECC won’t help curb the use of low-tax diesel in luxury cars in order to reduce public health risk.
Amit Bhatt of Embarq said that 1% tax would not discourage customers. “One way would be to invest all the money generated from this ECC only in public transport. We also need a fuel policy that lays down clearly that petrol and CNG are better suited for city vehicles. The government needs to implement other measures such as congestion charge and a quota for the number of annual registrations of personal cars,” he said.
“Diesel car users cannot pay less tax per liter of fuel compared to petrol cars or two-wheeler. This needs to be equalized to control growing use of dirty fuel in cars that have cleaner substitutes like petrol and CNG,” Roy chowdhury said.
“A pollution tax of 1% is grossly insufficient—it can neither compensate for the environmental and public health damage caused by these diesel cars nor deter anyone from purchasing a diesel vehicle. Instead, the manufacturers should have been required to sell only those diesel vehicles that are equipped with a particulate filter,” he added.