The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has sent a memorandum to Finance Minister P Chidambaram, saying the need of the hour is to strengthen the automobile sector that is the mainstay of the industrial economy and has been contributing significantly towards the gross domestic product and generation of employment avenues.
Avtar Singh and Upkar Singh, general secretary and joint secretary of CICU respectively, have urged the Finance Minister to slash excise duty on automobile and components from 12.36% to 8%. They have also requested the minister to initiate appropriate measures to provide respite to this sector.
Upkar Singh said consumer sentiments remained subdued, leading to 13% fall in car sales in January this year.
In exports too, there were worrisome signs with overseas sales of auto components manufacturers expected to decline by a whopping 25% to around $5.5 billion in the current fiscal year.
The auto components industry employs one million people directly and another one million indirectly.