During the SIAM 63rd Annual Convention in Delhi, Union Minister for Road, Transport, and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, made a significant announcement. He proposed the implementation of a 10 percent additional Goods and Services Tax (GST) on diesel vehicles in India, with the aim of addressing the issue of pollution.

Gadkari’s Vision for India’s Automobile Industry

Gadkari, in his speech, expressed his ambitious vision for India’s automobile industry. He stated, “We should aim at becoming the world’s No. 1 automobile manufacturer, and I am confident of achieving the target under PM Modi’s leadership. However, there is a hurdle; in order to become competitive in the global market, we will have to cut down our logistic costs.”

Addressing the audience at #SIAMAC23, Gadkari highlighted the industry’s progress, saying, “In 2014, the automobile industry was at the 7th position, but now, due to your support, we are now at the 3rd position.”

Transition to Cleaner Energy Sources

Furthermore, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister, emphasized the need to transition from diesel and petrol to biofuels, alternative fuels, and other clean energy sources for mobility. This transition aligns with the global shift towards sustainability and reduced carbon emissions.

However, shortly after his initial statement, Nitin Gadkari issued a clarification on his official social networking account at website X. His clarification read, “There is an urgent need to clarify media reports suggesting an additional 10% GST on the sale of diesel vehicles. It is essential to clarify that there is no such proposal currently under active consideration by the government. In line with our commitments to achieve Carbon Net Zero by 2070 and to reduce air pollution levels caused by hazardous fuels like diesel, as well as the rapid growth in automobile sales, it is imperative to actively embrace cleaner and greener alternative fuels. These fuels should be import substitutes, cost-effective, indigenous, and pollution-free.”

Potential Implications of the Proposal

Gadkari’s proposal has sparked discussions across the country. While the idea of imposing an additional GST on diesel vehicles as a pollution tax has its merits, there are also concerns within the automotive industry and among consumers.

Proponents of the proposal argue that it will incentivize the adoption of cleaner vehicles and reduce the environmental impact of diesel-powered automobiles. This aligns with the government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and air pollution.

On the other hand, critics express concerns about the potential economic burden on consumers. Diesel vehicles are widely used in various sectors, including transportation and logistics. An additional 10 percent GST could lead to increased costs for businesses and individuals who rely on diesel-powered vehicles for their daily activities.

The proposal also raises questions about the feasibility of a swift transition to alternative fuels and electric vehicles. The infrastructure for such vehicles is still underdeveloped in many parts of the country, and the cost of electric vehicles remains relatively high compared to conventional diesel vehicles.


Nitin Gadkari’s proposal for a 10 percent additional GST on diesel vehicles in India has ignited a crucial debate on environmental sustainability and economic impact. While the idea has noble intentions of reducing pollution and promoting cleaner energy sources, it also raises valid concerns about the practicality and affordability of such a transition.

As India continues to grow and modernize its transportation sector, striking a balance between environmental responsibility and economic feasibility will be a key challenge for policymakers and industry stakeholders alike.


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