India skips BS V fuel, leapfrogs from BS IV to BS VI

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The oil ministry's decision to advance the roll out of BS-VI fuel from April 2018 instead of April 2020 might help in reducing pollution in Delhi and the NCR but it would certainly add to the woes of auto companies to be fully compliant in over the next four months.

OMCs have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of NCR area with effect from April 1, 2019.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had introduced the BS-IV grade transportation fuels across the country in April this year. Currently, BS-IV is being followed but the government had earlier decided on skipping BS-V altogether to implement the BS-VI norms.

The automobile industry, which contributes 7.5% of the country's gross domestic product, is still anxious whether refineries will be able to supply sufficient BS-VI-grade fuel even though the government has vowed to do that.

The move is an effort to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency in the capital, the ministry said.

The government had provided five barrels of BS-VI compliant diesel to auto majors Honda Cars India and Mahindra & Mahindra in November 2016 for its test for BS-VI emission norms compliance. The decision will now come into effect from April 1 next year against the earlier deadline of April 1, 2020. There is no way any manufacturer will be able to sell BS-VI vehicles next year.

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This is likely to make the cars, SUVs and other vehicles more expensive, according to experts. "However, as far as the automobile industry is concerned, we are already working on a stretched deadline to launch BS VI vehicles by April 2020".

In March, the apex court had banned sale and registration of vehicles which were not BS-IV compliant.

Delhi is one of the single largest vehicle and two-wheeler markets in India accounting for 7 percent of India's total auto volumes and 25 percent of total sales in north India.

Oil refining companies are said to be making huge investments in upgradation projects to produce the BS-VI grade fuels.

In a bid to deal with the critical pollution situation in the national capital, the Ministry of Petroleum has brought forward the date for the rollout of BS-VI fuel for Delhi to April 1, 2018 instead of the original deadline of April 1, 2020.

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