Pollution control a priority for new SIAM chief

Pawan Goenka, who took over as president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers on Friday, has said that while it was imperative for the sector to grow, it should do so with responsibility. ''We are all aware that the industry can lead to a lot of things like pollution, climate change, road safety among other issues," Goenka told the media.

The Mahindra and Mahindra (automotive sector) president succeeded outgoing SIAM president Ravi Kant, managing diector, Tata Motors.

"We should have minimal impact," Goenka said, adding that the country's carbon dioxide emission norms were in place. The sector was one of the worst hit by the global slowdown, with input prices soaring and a slump in demand.

Goenka, however, is optimistic that one bad year does not mean the end of the road and predicts a growth rate of 15-16 per cent a year for the industry. "The sector has to grow at this rate in order to reach the growth outlined by the Automotive Mission Plan 2006," he said.

The plan aims at doubling the contribution of the automotive sector to the GDP by taking the turnover up to $145 billion in 2016, with a special emphasis on the export of small cars, multiple utility vehicles, two-wheelers and auto components.

In the last four months, the industry has suffered severe losses globally, with companies like Chrysler and General Motors declaring bankruptcy. "India and China are the only markets that remained profitable," Goenka said.