Govt removes customs duty of 252% levied on cars imported for testing in India

NEW DELHI: With its focus on Atma Nirbhar and aiming to make India one of the top destinations for vehicle crash testing globally, the government has removed the 252% customs duties currently imposed on cars being imported to India by notified testing agencies said Mahindra Nath Pandey, Minister of Heavy Industries (MHI), Government of India (GoI) said on Saturday.

According to the minister, this will attract car manufacturers from all countries to take advantage of the testing and certification facilities available in the country.

With this move, India has become the sixth country to successfully provide testing and certification for foreign cars brought in the country. The duty concessions will make India competitive against the UK, Germany, China, Taiwan and Japan, he told the Towards Panchamrita event organized by the International Center for Automotive Technology (iCAT), Manesar.

The one-day conference and exhibition was organized in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of ' Panchamrit' or five clean fuels, namely hydrogen, ethanol, biodiesel, gas and electric vehicles.

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Under the Government's National Vehicle Research and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRIP), there are four Vehicle Testing Centers in the country, iCAT in Manesar, ARAI in Pune (Automotive Research Association of India) and GARC in Oragadam (Global Center for Automotive Research) and NATRAX in Pithampur (National Automotive Test Tracks).

Last year, the Department of Road Transport and Motorways (MoRTH) proposed a star rating mechanism to assess safety in car accidents. In a series of tweets, Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the GSR's draft notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) would allow cars in India to get star ratings based on their performance in crash tests.

Gadkari stated that the star rating of Indian cars based on crash tests is crucial to ensure the structural integrity and safety of the cars' occupants. It will also increase the export-worthiness of Indian automobiles.

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