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This Might Be The Reason Why Bajaj Delayed its CNG Bike

Not only passenger four-wheelers but also two-wheelers in India have a 28% GST levy. In fact, the largest two-wheeler market in the world also has the highest taxation on them. Society of Indian Auto Manufacturers (SIAM) approached the Ministry of Heavy Industries to lower the GST on cleaner fuel vehicles as well as the whole two-wheeler segment. SIAM seeks a fair 12% GST on CNG and flex-fuel vehicles and demands 18% on petrol motorcycles. They have also pointed out that electric vehicles enjoy a 5% GST, which is a huge advantage. CNG and flex fuels are also cleaner alternatives, and if the government backs them with GST discounts, there will be many buyers switching to them. That said, kudos to the government, which provided major support in building CNG filling infrastructure. Now, most of the cities in India have CNG cars and public transport. 

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India now has world-class manufacturers, and due to the growth of the country's manufacturing sector, Indian automobiles are exported to many countries. Such regulatory changes had made the products very expensive. In the case of two-wheelers, there is more to the GST structure on bikes, it consists of three different slab ranges. Pointing this out, SIAM also requests the removal of 3% cess for petrol bikes over 350cc. The SIAM has not forgotten to mention hydrogen fuel cars in the letter to the ministry asking for a GST concession, paving its way to the future. 

Will Bajaj hit a stroke of luck?

Bajaj has a CNG motorcycle under covers, which was supposed to be launched this month. The launch has been pushed to July 17th, delayed by a month. Are they waiting for a good news? Fingers crossed. The motorcycle will be the world's first motorcycle to be run on compressed natural gas, and this, let alone will disrupt the industry. From recent reports, we can confirm that Bajaj is aiming at a 50% lower cost of fueling. While all that is awesome, if Bajaj could also price it right, the concept of CNG bikes will catch on. 

Also read: Bajaj CNG Bike Delayed.

On the other hand, Car manufacturers have been successfully selling CNG vehicles and developing flex fuel-like alternatives. Brands like Maruti and Hyundai mass-mobilised the CNG bandwagon and took a huge chunk from cabbies, while Tata entered the segment late but with innovative dual-cylinder technology. Although all the above manufacturers have electric vehicles on their portfolios, alternatives like CNG, Hybrid, Hydrogen, or even flex fuel will bridge the gaps to a cleaner planet. 

TopGear Magazine July 2024