All India Bicycling Pedlars Forum, (AIBPF) an apex body of cycling enthusiasts in the country has urged the Union Government including Ministry of Finance to bring Bicycles under the Green Product category as per the World Trade Organisation (WTO) norms and reduce or eliminate import tariffs and barriers because bikes have a positive effect on environment.

“ Green goods is a WTO driven agreement among various countries, as the WTO has already agreed in 2012 to reduce tariffs to 5 percent or less by 2015 on 54 categories of green products. These categories include solar panels, gas and wind turbines, soot removers and catalytic converters. The WTO will soon have another new round of negotiations with the WTO members over adding product categories to the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA).The bicycle is on top of agenda to be added in the list ” said Mr Mahendra Awasthi ,convenor of the All India Bicycle pedlars Forum .

“The benefits of bicycling are significant, in terms of energy savings, relief of urban congestion and the promotion of a healthier lifestyle. Bicycles represent a zero-emissions form of transportation that offsets use of other, less clean forms of commuting, like the gasoline-engine automobile. Whole world agrees that Bicycles are green” Said Mr Awasthi.

“The current high import tariffs on bicycles and bicycle parts in India do not protect any significant domestic manufacturing. Rather they impose extra, unnecessary costs to anyone purchasing these products. Imposing import duty as high as 30 per cent is completely senseless move by the govt. Protection policies has never helped the manufacturers improve their products. Classic examples are what Hindustan Motors and Fiat served us for years when they were ‘protected’. “ said Mr Karan Zombade , Secretary, AIBPF, based in Pune ,Maharashtra.

“It’s a shame that bicycles which are used for pollution free transport, and as a means of good outdoor exercise should face such sever hikes in duties. Use of Bicycles burns no fuel except human energy, is environment friendly and healthy” said MR V.K.Arora , a Delhi based avid bicycling enthusiast.

“India is a big cycle market as about (around 17 million units) sell per annum, due to protective barriers and cheap price points, for decades, India made working class bicycles. Simple in engineering, these models got indigenised. Light frames and gears remained distant. But when Indian brands hawk alloy, aluminium or carbon fibre-bikes, there is usually imported stuff involved. Such dependence spans gears, rims, tyres, shock absorbers comes to fore front” said A Ludhiana based biking enthusiast Nitin Sharma.

“On the other hand, Indian manufacturers have no comparable performance-DNA to advertise to the world. More than tariff protection, they must study, compete and grow. “ he added.