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Gadkari defends Sitharaman: Ola-Uber comment ‘misunderstood’

Gadkari, defending Sitharaman's statement on the automobile slowdown, said that the finance minister's statement was misunderstood

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New Delhi: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on 11 September defended the statement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the slowdown in the automobile sector. Nitin Gadkari, defending her, said at an event that Sitharaman’s statement was misunderstood.

Earlier, Nirmala Sitharaman had said on Tuesday that the new generation preferred to use services like Ola and Uber instead of paying EMIs for new cars.

The transport minister said, “There have been many reasons for the continuous decline in the automobile industry in the last few months. For example, the growth in sales of e-rickshaws has led to lower sales of general auto-rickshaws.” Apart from this, the minister said that the improvement in public transport across the country had been a reason for the slowdown.

The automobile sector had sought help from the central government to overcome the recession in recent times. The automobile industry demands that GST be reduced from 28% to 18%. On this, Gadkari said that any decision on GST would be taken by the GST Council.

The transport minister said, “I am confident that Sitharaman ji will talk to the states to reduce GST. The ball is in the court of the Finance Ministry.” Earlier, Nirmala Sitharaman had declined to comment on a question on GST at the conference yesterday. She just said that she alone could not decide on GST.

The finance minister had given the media details of the government’s work on completion of 100 days of the second term of the Narendra Modi government. She had assured the people through the media that the central government would consider the demands of the automobile sector facing the biggest recession in two decades. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Finance Ministry had already considered some suggestions in the automobile sector. Some other suggestions would be discussed further, she had said.

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