New Delhi, Nov 12 : Carrying forward his Green agenda, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh wants gas guzzling Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) off Indian roads saying they emitted more carbons and called their use in the country as "criminal".
Suggesting that the luxury SUVs survived on subsidised diesel, Ramesh also said there should be a reformed diesel policy as the real beneficiaries of the subsidy are the owners of the "BMWs, the Benzs and Hondas" and not farmers.
"The luxurious growth of large-size vehicles like SUVs is really a growth of concern... use of vehicles like SUVs and BMW in countries like India is criminal," Ramesh said at a UN function here.
"I think, we seriously need to think about fuel policy regime," he said.
"We are subsidising diesel. We have reformed policy as far as petrol is concerned. We are yet to reform as far as the net effect of diesel subsidy is concerned," he said.
Stating that the subsidy in the social security sector should be really for LPG and kerosene, Ramesh said to control carbon emission, there was a need to have a fuel policy regime.
"And certainly put a penalty on the type of cars that you don't want to see on the roads which is diesel driven car, SUVs," the minister said.
"We cannot ask people to buy or not to buy a particular car. But through an effective fiscal policy, we can certainly have an impact," he said.
Ramesh said the transport sector contribute 7.5 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the country and this is expected to be 15 per cent in the next 15 to 20 years.
"We are worried and we are looking at how to control these emissions from transport sector. For this to happen, there should be mandatory fuel efficiency standards," he said.
The minister added that a national transport policy committee has been constituted and the committee will give its recommendations in next 12 to 15 months.
Dismissing the notion that the increased use of electric car will help reduce carbon emission, the minister said those who advocate for it think that "electricity comes from heavens."
Ramesh on an earlier occasion said "I am worried seeing the number of vehicles on the roads today and with the number of increasing big SUVs, it can be a recipe for disaster like the US... I am not happy... I have no control over it, unfortunately," Ramesh added.
He said a mandatory fuel efficiency standard for auto makers will be brought soon to promote environment friendly technologies in the country. PTI