More than 40 years after being carved out as an independent state from Punjab, Haryana may finally get its own Motor Vehicles Act. A bill is likely to be tabled in the ongoing state assembly session for formal clearance.
At present, all transport-related regulations in Haryana are governed by the Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act.
With mammoth transport-related plans in the pipeline, including the Rs 8,000-crore Pod Car project, addition of 400 buses fleet for intra- and inter-city transportation, and the privately-funded Metro projects, the Haryana government is planning to draft a dedicated Motor Vehicles Taxation Act to address the state's needs.
Haryana shares several Acts and facilities with the neighboring state of Punjab, of which it was a part till November 1966.
Not only do they share the state capital, Chandigarh, but also the Punjab & Haryana High Court in Chandigarh. Similarly, the Punjab Financial Corporation (Payment of Gratuity to Employees) Regulations, 1964, govern both states.
According to highly-placed sources in the state government, a number of changes have been made in the proposed Haryana Motor Vehicles Taxation Bill which would be notified as an Act by the state assembly for regulating transport vehicles.
For example, at present the owners of transport vehicles have to deposit the road tax with the regional transport authority (RTA) office every three months as per the Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act. The new bill, on the other hand, has proposed a yearly deposit of road tax.
"We have proposed many changes in the Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act for the convenience of motorists," the source said.
The ongoing assembly session that began on February 22 in Chandigarh will also clear decisions on setting up a state commission for scheduled castes, excise policy for two years (2013-14 and 2014-15), amendment in categorization of potential zones, raising a loan of R144 crore from HUDCO for housing schemes for weaker sections, amendment to the Punjab Financial Corporation (Payment of Gratuity to Employees) Regulations, 1964, and amendment in the Haryana Legislative Assembly (Allowances of Members) Rules, 1976.
In a decision taken during the ongoing assembly session, the state also reduced the rate of VAT from five per cent to four per cent on the purchase of goods made by CSD and approved plans to the extend the Metro from YMCA Chowk (Faridabad) to Ballabhgarh with a contribution of R468.20 crore by the state.
The Haryana government will also announce its annual budget during the budget session starting March 1.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda recently claimed the budget for 2013-14 would focus on farmers, labourers and the poor.