Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said measures are required to save jobs in automotive sector which represents 50 per cent of the manufacturing sector jobs in the country. Shaw's reaction on twitter came after automobile sale in India witnessed its worst-ever drop in August with despatches in all segments, including passenger vehicles and two-wheelers, plummeting to an all-time low. "Passenger Vehicle Sales See Worst Ever Monthly Drop Since 1997-98. We need measures that are not about saving the auto sector but about saving 50% of manufacturing jobs in the country which is what the auto sector represents," Shaw said in a tweet, tagging Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
In another tweet, she said: "Passenger Vehicle Sales See Worst Ever Monthly Drop Since 1997-98 - it would be good to see GST collections in each slab to evaluate the impact of tinkering with 28 per cent rate. Consumer sentiments need to be boosted by changing perception." With prolonged slump in sales, automobile and component manufacturers have been seeking GST cut on automobiles to 18 per cent from 28 per cent to help the sector come out of a prolonged slump that has resulted in job losses. Already, 15,000 contractual jobs have been lost in the automobile manufacturing and around 2.8 lakh in dealerships, while components manufacturers are staring at 1 million job losses if the downturn continues.
As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the overall vehicle sales decline last month are steepest in the country since the industry body started recording wholesale vehicle sales data in 1997-98. Vehicle sales across categories, including passenger vehicles and two-wheelers and commercial vehicles, stood at 18,21,490 units last month as against 23,82,436 units in August 2018, a fall of 23.55 per cent.
Similarly, domestic passenger vehicle sale saw its worst-ever fall in August, slumping 31.57 per cent to 1,96,524 units from 2,87,198 units in the year-ago period. Besides, total two-wheeler sales last month declined by a record of 22.24 per cent to 15,14,196 units compared to 19,47,304 units in the year-ago month. Commercial vehicle sales were down 38.71 per cent to 51,897 units in August as compared with 84,668 units in August 2018.