NGT has asked for clarification from both Maruti Suzuki and the Central government
It has come to light that a plea seeking a refund of Rs 96.61 crore subsidy that Maruti Suzuki earned on the Ciaz and the Ertiga under the FAME scheme has pushed the National Green Tribunal to seek a response from both the carmarker and the Centre.
A bench comprising of Justice Jawad Rahim has already sent notices to the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of Environment and Forests, International Centre For Automotive Technology and Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) to seek their responses on this issue by February 21. Basically, the subsidy granted to Maruti Suzuki India Ltd came under the scanner after one Advocate Ashwini Kumar filed a plea to direct the carmaker to return the Rs 95 crore subsidy it earned on the SHVS-equipped Diesel variants of the Ciaz and the Ertiga. The petition alleged that both the above vehicles are “in fact not anywhere close to being such hybrid vehicles and the subsidies received were totally wrong, mala fide and illegal”. It further alleged that SHVS is actually not a hybrid or a mild hybrid system but only an arrangement that integrates the starter motor with the generator motor.
Kumar has said that the Government of India has, till February-15 last year, already distributed almost Rs 150 crore to many car manufacturers under the FAME scheme. The plea says that while the applicant was initially looking to know the directions under which the benefit was being given to the manufacturer, the government excluded the SHVS-equipped cars from all subsidies soon after the benefits came under the scanner.
“The only plausible explanation for the sudden withdrawal of subsidy to the cars manufactured by the Respondent No.3 (Maruti) appears to be the RTI applications by the applicant trying to seek information of the certification of the vehicles produced by Maruti categorised as ‘Mild Hybrid Vehicles. As soon as the government realised that the information asked for by the applicant would disclose the ex-facie illegal grant of subsidy, the government chose to withdraw the subsidy. Pass an order regarding utilisation of the subsidy fund in an effective manner for prevention of pollution and implementation of environmental laws,” the plea said.
via ET Auto