NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Monday said an inter-ministerial panel has sanctioned 5,645 electric buses for operations in 65 cities, a move seen towards environment-friendly mobility. Last week, the GST Council headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman decided to cut the tax rates on e-vehicles from 12 per cent to 5 per cent with effect from August 1. "The inter-ministerial committee for EVs today sanctioned 5,645 electric buses for intracity operations in 65 cities and for intercity operations to 8 state transport undertakings. This will give huge impetus to the automobile sector, clean up our cities & drive Make in India," Kant said in a tweet.
The Centre has been taking initiatives to popularise environment-friendly electric vehicles. In the Union Budget 2019-20, the government proposed additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles. Besides, certain parts of EVs have been exempted from customs duty to further incentivise e-mobility in the country. The Centre has also approved Rs 10,000 crore under the FAME II scheme, which aims to encourage faster adoption of such vehicles by right incentives and charging infrastructure.
Recently, Kant had said electric vehicles are a sunrise opportunity as India has over 72 per cent two-wheelers. NITI Aayog has proposed that two-wheelers below the capacity of 150cc sold in the country after March 31, 2025, should be electric ones only. It also proposed that three-wheelers sold in the country after March 31, 2023, should be electric ones.