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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a few measures aimed at reviving the auto industry, which is now witnessing its worst slowdown in almost two decades.

In an effort to boost auto sales Sitharaman said the ban on purchasing new vehicles by government departments would be lifted. Sitharaman added that there would be no surcharge for FPI and domestic investors in the market. However, the ministry was ziplipped about its rollout or by when the notification will be issued.

Sitharaman had introduced a surcharge on individuals and FPIs, whose annual earning is more than Rs 20 million, in her first Budget in July.

FPIs have pulled out over $1 billion in August from the Indian markets.

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For both electric vehicles and internal combustion vehicles, the government announced that the government will be setting up infrastructure and also be producing batteries for export.

Industry figures had been calling on newly re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to provide more of a fiscal boost as signs multiply that numerous sectors are suffering a painful slowdown.

She further announced that banks have chose to pass on all rate cuts through reduction in the Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) to benefit all borrowers.

In a bid to address the slowdown in the auto sector, the govt announced a slew of measures including lifting ban on purchase of vehicles by govt departments and allowing additional 15% depreciation on vehicles acquired from now till March 2020.

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Earlier this month, India's central bank cut interest rates for the fourth time this year to a nine-year low in an attempt to boost growth, but credit has remained tight for firms and consumers. But the Indian economy was growing faster than the global average and all other major economies, Sitharaman added. She will soon hit the road to interact with tax sleuths to personally request them not to overstretch and in the process inadvertently harass taxpayers.

In good news for start-ups, the angel tax has been removed, she said. "Respect for wealth creators was the spirit of Budget 2020.wealth creators will be treated with sensitivity", she explained. "In future every refund will be done in 60 days". Confusion and anxiety over CSR norms, where erring companies were to face prosecution, are replaced with monetary penalties giving a significant breather to industry.

The move is expected to generate additional lending and liquidity in the financial system to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore, she said.

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