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Govt. bats for big diesel cars, tells SC that they pollute less (Relevant for GS Mains paper III, Environment)

Union govt arguments favouring big diesel cars
1. Big and high-end diesel cars have better emission norms and pollute less than the commoner’s small cars, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday .Big diesel cars and SUVs have better emission norms than smaller cars. Just because a car is big and powerful does not mean it is more polluting.

2. Global car makers would opt to leave India , rendering lakhs of youths without jobs and FDI in a shambles.
“The ban was imposed when they were already conforming to emission norms. This showed inconsistency on our side in policy. Companies are fed up with the unpredictability and have said they will go away. These foreign companies have huge investments involved here,” Mr. Rohatgi (attorney general) submitted before a three-judge Bench.

3. The government also challenged the Supreme Court’s authority to impose a cess when taxation came within the domain of the government. This was in response to an idea mooted by the court to make high-end diesel car buyers pay a hefty one-time anti-pollution cess or environmental compensatory charge for opting for a polluting fuel.
Instead, the Centre put its weight behind the car makers’ proposal to deposit with the government 1 per cent of the showroom price of every 2000 CC diesel vehicle bought in Delhi.
The money, which would go into the cause of reducing pollution, would be taken from the buyer.

4. Besides, Mr. Rohatgi said, the government was ready with a scheme by which persons with cars made before 2005 could sell their vehicles at designated government scrap yards.10 to 15 years old cars pollute 10 times more than big cars because they follow BS-II emission norms.

View of Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA)
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) advised the court against the car makers’ proposal to pay one per cent of the car’s showroom price towards combating pollution. It said the aim of the Supreme Court was to prevent ‘dieselisation’ and not allow car makers to pay money to allow them to continue to pollute.

Background
The arguments by Mukul Rohtagi were in response to the  court’s blanket ban on fresh registration of diesel luxury cars and SUVs with over 2000 CC engine capacity in the national capital.



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