Guru Gyan
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Guru Gyan

A break in shifting to BS-VI emission norms

The Supreme Court has barred the registration of Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) vehicles till further notice and has posted the matter for hearing on August 13. What happened and what is the background story?

Last year, the Supreme Court of India had ruled that BS-VI emission norm would come into effect from April 1, 2020, and that no BS-IV vehicles will be sold in the country from that date.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the apex court in March had given the extension to sell 10% of BS-IV unsold inventory to dealers as a relief. The order was recalled in July as the court said that dealers had sold more BS-IV vehicles in and after March during lockdown which was not allowed.

Understanding the norms

With this developing story, it is important to understand BS-VI emission norms and its significance.

Bharat Stage (BS) are emission standards set up by the Indian government and instituted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The standards are set to keep track of the pollution levels emitted by vehicles. The amount specified by the regulatory body has to be implemented by the automakers, otherwise, they will not get clearance to sell the vehicle.

The one major difference between the previous BS-IV (implemented in 2017) and the recent BS-VI norms is the prescribed presence of sulphur content in the fuel set by the authority. The strict norms are a requirement for cleaner fuel and possible control of pollution levels.

The automakers are supposed to make their vehicle models compliant as per the updated BS emission norm, for which they are given deadline for the transition to develop or tweak their engines. While some meet the targets, some face huge stockpile i.e., unsold inventory leading to the risk of losses.

Coming back to the story,

The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) had urged the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for the sale of piled unsold BS-IV inventory due to drop in sales amid the nationwide lockdown, citing the possibility of large bankruptcies and job losses.

But as a large number of such vehicles were sold by dealers during the lockdown despite the said limit, the bench of the court expressed displeasure and therefore has now barred the registration of BS-IV vehicles till further notice.

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