A fancy registration number for your car will soon come with a price tag.
The transport department’s practice of distributing fancy numbers, such as 1111 or 5555, without charging a fee will be discontinued from Friday.
The move to charge for special numbers is expected to become a money-spinner for the government as the demand for is usually high.
The special numbers will be sold for prices between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 5 lakh (which is what the buyer of the first number of the series, 0001, will pay).The prices for the other eight single digit numbers (0002 to 0009) are between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh.
Charging for the special numbers would make single or double digit numbers — currently reserved for politicians, judges and officials — available to many more people.
And if numerology motivates you to go for a particular number, which has otherwise not been categorised as a fancy number, you will have to pay 1% of the cost of the car.
Officials in the transport department, mindful that a fee could dissuade people going for special numbers, believe the new policy can earn the government between R50-60 crore a year once it gets the go-ahead from the Sheila Dikshit cabinet.
The sources added that even politicians and bureaucrats could be asked to pay for special numbers if the cabinet agreed.
“A cabinet note has been prepared and sent for approval. Once approved by the cabinet, we will start selling these numbers in accordance with the new policy,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Selling special numbers has been profitable for the neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Such numbers are auctioned in Chandigarh.
“Special numbers are seen in Delhi as status symbols and a number of numerologists recommend numbers starting with one, seven and nine. While we can issue special numbers for official vehicles of ministers, parliamentarians, legislators and bureaucrats, there are a number of people who want fancy numbers. We can earn revenue through this exercise,” said a senior Delhi government official.
More than 1,000 cars are added to Delhi’s roads daily. Officials said they issued 80-100 fancy numbers every day from the transport department headquarters on Rajpur Road in north Delhi.
The comptroller and auditor-general (CAG) had observed that by not formulating a policy on fancy numbers, the transport department had missed generating more revenue.