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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Blames ‘Millennial Mindset’ for Collapse of Indian Automobile Industry

New Delhi, September 11, 2019:

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has drawn much criticism for citing ‘millennial mindset’ as the reason for the car sector’s collapse in India in the past one year.

Sitharaman said that the Millenials (a ‘millennial’ is someone born between 1981 to 1996) were adversely affecting the automobile industry, as they prefer to use radio taxi services (such as Ola, Uber), instead of buying their own vehicles.

Here is what Finance Minister Sitharaman had said: “The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS6 and the mindsets of millennials who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile.”

Sitharaman’s statement has drawn much criticism, as Uber and Ola services are mostly operational in metropolitan cities, which are already crowded and see traffic snarls in the 2nd most populous country in the world.

It may be mentioned here that the auto sector continues to see a sales slump, and corresponding massive job losses have also been reported in the sector.

Domestic car sales were down 41.09 percent to 1,15,957 units as against 1,96,847 units in August 2018, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) released on Monday. This is the worst-ever fall for both the categories since SIAM started recording the data in 1997-98. Moreover, truck, tractor, and even moped sales have declined in the past year.

After Sitharaman had made the statement, #BoycottMillenials started trending on Twitter. Soon, trolls joined in on making fun of the Minister’s statement. “Oxygen crisis will be occur because millennial inhale more oxygen in the morning”, said one user, while another wrote, “Tourism is down because people are seeing photos and videos of places online.”

Yet another Twitter user provided the following insight, “There is a fall in agricultural sector because millennials prefer pizza instead of daal roti”.

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