Delhi civic bodies still confused about green tax from trucks

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 01, 2015 08:41 IST
The Supreme Court had asked the state government to levy an environment tax on inbound trucks that pass through the capital. (Ravi Choudhary/ HT File Photo)

The municipal corporations of Delhi continued to remain confused about the collection of environment tax from Delhi-bound trucks on Saturday, a day before the new tax policy was supposed to kick in.

According to senior officials, the Supreme Court’s direction to start levying the tax from Sunday was conveyed to the toll concessionaire. But the actual situation might not be clear till Monday.

“We have sent a letter to the concessionaire asking him to comply with the apex court’s order. We are still waiting for his feedback. It will be clear if tax collection is actually underway only on Sunday night when the trucks start plying,” said a high-ranking official of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The leader of south corporation had earlier sought the Supreme Court’s intervention to either direct the concessionaire to collect taxes or extend the November 1 deadline to help them frame a clear policy for the diesel tax.

The Supreme Court— in a move to deter the inbound trucks that passed through the national capital — had asked the state government and the municipal corporation to levy an environment tax. Unable to form a clear policy and after a confrontation with the concessionaire, the south civic body had decided to approach the Supreme Court and ask for more time but the court refused.

SDMC officials had claimed that the additional tax would be an added liability on the corporation and the concessionaire responsible for toll tax had refused to collect the additional tax, saying it would violate its contract with the municipal corporation.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation is the nodal authority for collecting tax from goods vehicles entering the city and had earlier this year signed a contract with a private firm for the same.

As per the contract, the concessionaire will have to pay a total of `550 crore annually to the corporation for a period of five years, irrespective of whether it makes profits or loss.

“Currently, even if the concessionaire collects the additional tax, it will pay us the said `550 crore only, causing losses,” said a senior leader of the SDMC.

As per estimates, over 66,000 vehicles enter the city everyday. Radhe Shyam Sharma, chairman, standing committee, SDMC said since the corporation also keeps a check on pollution, a part of the total diesel tax collected should be shared with the corporation.

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