Addressing the 55th SIAM Annual Convention today in New Delhi today, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said that the government has been mulling the option of creating a new department of transport which will be headed by a new Secretary. The new department will have experts who will help draft the technical regulations in a better manner. This body will come into existence once the PMO approves. The minister also stressed on the importance of infrastructure and road safety. He stated that the government has already ordered for nine PPP projects, which highlights the steady flow of investments in road infrastructure.

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Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, government of India said, “If India has to grow at the rate of 7-8%, then the automotive and auto component industry have to be the key driver of this growth, not only in case of manufacturing but also innovation and frugal engineering.”

With the overall theme being ‘Automotive Mission Plan: Make in India’, the 55th SIAM Annual Convention saw attendance by several senior bureaucrats, and auto industry leaders including CEOs and senior representatives from Indian and global manufacturers who presented their perspectives about the auto industry‘s role in emerging India and future of mobility in the country.

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In his inaugural address, Vikram Kirloskar, President, SIAM and Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “The last 3 years have been challenging for the Indian automotive industry. However, the conditions have improved significantly over the past fiscal.” He added that the auto industry is a highly taxed sector and is unfairly targeted for being the primary cause of pollution, which the government needs to look into. The industry is also hopeful that GST will soon be implemented.

R S Katoch, Secretary, Ministry of Heavy industries and Public Enterprises, government of India, said in his address, “We have been trying to support the industry and trying to devise policies which would help the industry. While there have been high level concerns on emission norms of late, we have tried to put forth the case of the industry in the best possible way with the Ministry. There are a lot of misconceptions which we believe can be addressed with proper studies on the subject matter.”

Ramesh Suri, President, ACMA and Chairman, Subros Ltd and Sumit Mazumder, President, CII and Chairman and MD, TIL Ltd also addressed the audience. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Toyota Motor Corporation, talked about hybrid technology and how Toyota Prius was driving the category. The special plenary session was opened by Pawan Munjal, Chairman, CEO and MD, Hero MotoCorp Ltd while Arvind Saxena, President and MD, General Motors India, delivered the closing remarks for the session. In the first technical session of the day, the speakers discussed the future of mobility by 2030. The discussion encompassed various aspects of mobility, including sustainability and hybrid technology among other topics of industry interest.

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