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'Too early to calculate GST effect on automobile sector unless rate fixed'
Thursday September 1, 2016 7:49 AM, Agencies

New Delhi: It is too early to calcuate the effect of GST on automobile prices and strategise unless the GST Council fixes the rate, Hero MotoCorp CMD and CEO Pawan Munjal said here on Wednesday.

"Too early to do calculations until (GST) Council fixes the rate. I have my doubts on the April 1, 2017 deadline for GST (Goods and Services Tax), though we have done our homework," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers' 56th annual conference.

"Implementation of GST requires huge amount of digitisation, for which I have my doubts, can be completed in such a short span of time."

Hero MotoCorp is at the forefront and at an advanced stage for implementation of GST, but he cannot say the same for other companies, he said.

"But GST is going to happen and it is a good thing. Companies, traders, economy, all will benefit from it," he added.

On his company's plans, Munjal said that it is eyeing double digit growth in the current fiscal banking upon increased sales in the upcoming festive season.

At home front, the company is also starting a new plant in Gujarat in the third quarter of this fiscal and another in Bangladesh.

"The Bangladesh plant's capacity is not much but the Gujarat one is big enough. We are also waiting to get possession of land for a plant in Andhra Pradesh," he said.

Globally, the country's largest two-wheeler manufacturer is soon starting exports to Nigeria, Argentina and Mexico, he said.

Munjal said that the (Bharat Stage) BS-IV norms are round the corner but the real challenge is BS-VI norms that need to be adopted by April 1, 2020.

The government from BS-IV has decided to directly skip over to BS-VI norms by 2020, altogether skipping BS-V.

"We have accepted the challenge of BS-VI. The task is enormous," he said.

On the effect of BS-VI on the pricing, he said that there is a cost to the technology.

"We do not know how much investment will go into the technology and how much can be passed on to the customer. It is too early to comment on the effect on prices," he said.

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