Daily Answer Writing
22 March 2021

Q) Despite noble intentions, the success of a scheme depends finally on the implementations. What are the advantages and the challenges of the new scrapage policy in this regard? (150 Words)Source: The Hindu Editorial: Junk inefficiency

GS2: Government Policy

Approach Answer: 

 

Introduction: It is known that the older vehicle pollute the environment 10 to 12 times more than fit vehicles and pose a risk to road safety and  in the interest of a clean environment and  for rider and pedestrian safety. In this context, the government has introduced a Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization Program (VVMP) or “Vehicle Scrapping Policy”.

 

The provisions Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization Program (VVMP) or “Vehicle Scrapping Policy”

               i. Automated Fitness Centres  would be established in case of commercial vehicles and Non-Renewal of Registration in case of private vehicles.

               ii. Declaration of end of life Vehicle: A Vehicle failing the fitness test or failing to get a renewal of its registration certificate may be declared as End of Life Vehicle.

               iii. Criteria to determine fitness: emission tests, braking, safety equipment, among many other tests which are as per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

               iv. Criteria of scrappage — Commercial vehicles be de-registered after 15 years, Private Vehicles after 20 years and all government and PSU vehicles may be de-registered and scrapped after 15 years from the date of registration, in case of failure to get fitness certificate.

               v. Cut-off Date for application: It will take until April 1, 2022 for vehicles belonging to the government and the public sector to be scrapped, April 1, 2023 to identify junk heavy commercial vehicles through mandatory fitness checks, and finally other vehicles by April 1, 2024.

               vi. Incentives: The scheme shall provide strong incentives to owners of old vehicles to scrap old and unfit vehicles through registered scrapping centres, which shall provide the owners with a scrapping certificate

 

Advantages of the policy:

               i. Promoting Manufacturing companies: More sales would be noted for the new vehicles as the older ones become obsolete. Thus mmanufacturers stand to benefit from a spurt in demand.

               ii. Economic revival: Vehicle scrappage and replacement is seen internationally as a route to rejuvenate COVID-19-affected economies by privileging green technologies, notably electric vehicles (EVs), bringing new evenues for employment.

               iii. Help in fulfilling Paris commitment: It is also as an initiative to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century under Paris Agreement commitments.

               iv. Employment: The Automobile industry’s share pre-COVID-19 was about 7.5% of GDP with significant downstream employment. The Centre has to arrive at a balance and have incentives that reward manufacturers of vehicles that are the most fuel-efficient.

               v. Promotion of Green industries: Such up-gradation of norms would push industry towards electric vehicles and other such alternatives. More recycling material would be available, bringing profits to the scrappage industries.  The alternatives technologies are the future of the energy sector too.

 

Challenges in Implementation of the Policy:

               i. Volume of vehicles to be checked: It will be no easy task to put in place a credible system of automated fitness checking centres with help from States to assess whether commercial and private vehicles are roadworthy after 15 and 20 years, respectively, as the policy envisages.

               ii. Stopping violations in smaller towns and rural areas: Enforcement will be key to get them scrapped once they are found unfit for use and to stop them from moving to smaller towns.

               iii. Support from States: States must also come on board to provide road tax and registration concessions, while the automobile industry is expected to sweeten the deal with genuine discounts on new vehicles. Earlier enforcement of the amended Motor Vehicles Act of 2019 proved to be challenging because States are not entirely on board.

               iv. Unviability for Heavy commercial vehicles: which contribute disproportionately to pollution — 1.7 million lack fitness certificates — pose the biggest challenge. Many of these cannot be replaced quickly.

               v. Economic Challenge: in the absence of financial arrangements for small operators, who have opposed the new measures, as this would add to the transporation and compliance costs.

               vi. Unviability for Farmers: The existing tractors and machines wouldn't be able to ply on roads if they are found not to be complying with the environmental norms. This would impact farmers negatively.

 

 

Conclusion: Thus it can be seen that the Scrapage of old vehicles can bring many economic opportunities as well as help improving environment. However, its implementation is the key. Therefore stress must be put in making the decision economically viable for the transporters. The two to three year time given in the policy is necessary to prepare the industry for the changes, which already suffers from increased compliance costs of BS VI norms and lower sales.

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