There is a clear timeline for rollout of the goods & services tax (GST). That is the best we could have expected.
We were hoping for an electric-vehicle incentive, and an announcement has been made. But that is not enough. We were also looking for some rationalisation of excise duty on sports utility vehicles, which is very high. At an industry level, the fact that the excise rate goes back to an earlier value was a disappointment. But overall, a lot of things are being done and we will see results..
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It is not an accident that the economy is looking up. Demand growth doesnt have to wait till the roll-out of GST. I am very optimistic that demand will start coming back in April-May. There are positive factors such as interest rates coming down by another 50 basis points in four-six months because inflation is under control.
As commodity prices are benign, the increase in vehicle prices will be much below inflation. It is expected the economy will grow 8-8.5 per cent, and there is an infrastructure boost. All factors to drive demand are in place.
Executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra
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