New Delhi, November 27, 2012: The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) organised a conference on ‘Diesel for Future: Economy & Environment’ in New Delhi yeserday. The delegates addressed the need to recognise diesel as a viable solution for energy security and a lower carbon footprint. Strategies were also suggested in pricing and taxation to enable the government to integrate diesel as an important energy driver for transportation sector.
The ministerial session was addressed by the chief guest Praful Patel, minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises and guest of honour, Jitin Prasada, minister of state for Human Resource Development. The conference was also addressed by Vikram S Kirloskar, VP, SIAM and vice-chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Anant J Talaulicar, chairman, SIAM Diesel Group and CMD, Cummins India, Lowell Paddock, president and MD, General Motors India, Ashok Dhar, president – Industrial Marketing, Reliance Industries, Dr Kirit Parikh, chairman, IRADe, L N Gupta, joint secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, joint secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Nitin Gokarn, CEO, NATRIP.
Speaking at the conference, Praful Patel said, "The perception that diesel is dirty is no more valid. This needs to be changed as contemporary diesel vehicles have higher fuel efficiency; it is as clean as any petroleum fuel." Jitin Prasada said, "Diesel consumption and technologies are here to stay as diesel has emerged as a better fuel, as they are efficient in terms of consumption." Vikram S Kirloskar said, “Diesel has an important role a fuel of the future for the automobile sector. We need to gradually calibrate the prices of petroleum products to a more realistic level.”
Kirit Parikh, chairman, IRADe , highlighted the impact of under-recoveries on the financial stability of the country and suggested liberalising the price of diesel. Comparing long-term benefits of liberalising the price of diesel, he stated: “If you free diesel prices fully at one go to market prices, you may find high inflation for the next 3-4 months, but by the sixth month, inflation would get moderated.” Dr Parikh also spelt out several alternative measures for addressing the concerns of high diesel subsidies.
GM India’s Lowell Paddock said, "We firmly believe that diesel is one the best options available in the automotive sector with 25 percent better fuel efficiency. Today diesel vehicles are quieter, safer and more 'fun' to drive. We feel that every fuel has a role to play and it should not be influenced by policy prescriptions or separate taxation.”