In the Thick of Action

Dear friends,

You will glad to know that the activities of FADA have gained momentum and attained feverish pitch.

As I write this message, it is more or less clear from the recent meeting of GST Council that Goods and Services Tax (GST) - a revolutionary tax reform, which will bring about a huge disruption and sea change in business practices, is set to be introduced with effect from 1st July 2017, unless technical glitches and/or unforeseen contingencies constrain the Government to postpone the GST implementation by a couple of months. In any case, we, in retail automobile trade, have to be geared to stand up to this gigantic challenge.

FADA, as the apex national body representing the retail automobile trade in India, is alive to the challenge, the implementation of GST is likely to pose for members of the automobile dealer fraternity. As such, an initiative was taken to organise series of seminars on GST in various parts of the country to guide and educate automobile dealers on the implications of GST and the preparedness required on their part for smooth transition.

I am happy to inform that as a part of this initiative, 12 seminars on GST have already been held under the banner of FADA in Mumbai, Delhi, Raipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Kolkata and Guwahati. What is heartening is that the seminars received massive response, with each seminar attracting over 100 participants. I have been receiving congratulatory messages and very good feedback from my fellow dealers, who participated at the seminar. I must compliment the local associations that pitched in with their all-out support to make the seminars a tremendous success.

Let me assure you, FADA’s role is not limited to organising seminars alone. The concerns and queries arising out of the seminars are being collated and suitably taken up with the appropriate authorities. We are open to organising more seminars on GST in other places, if the members or their associations in these places, approach FADA. While FADA disseminates the information through its website, mail and FADA Journal and provides guidance, it is the local members who have to orchestrate the efforts  and make arrangements at the local level to organise the programme.

As far other activities of FADA, we, in FADA Council, are continuing our endeavours to strenthen and deepen relations with all stakeholders. To build this connect, we have held series of meetings with SIAM, individual OEMs and Government authorities, including the Hon’ble Finance Minister and Mr Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary, Government of India.  

On the heels of meeting with Mr Ashok Lavasa on 2nd May 2017, a 4-member FADA group held meeting with Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways on 29th May 2017, wherein a number of issues of concern, including GST, vehicle scrapping policy, according industry status to auto retail and provision for auto clusters along national & state highways were discussed. I am happy to inform that the Hon’ble Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways was quite receptive to the suggestions made at the meeting.

Adverting to the auto market, I am sorry to note that the commercial vehicles have not been able to recover from the body blow dealt by the order dated 29th March 2017 of Hon’ble Supreme Court banning sale of BS III vehicles effective from 1st April 2017. We, in FADA as responsible corporate citizens, welcome the measures aimed at promoting clean environment and road safety. However, there is an imperative need for a holistic approach to tackle this twin-problem. The isolated knee-jerk reactions not only lead to uncertainty and disruption but also do not yield the desired results.

Look forward to your inputs and suggestions.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

John K Paul

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