Film actors will have to pay more vehicle tax for their luxury vanity vans. Actors including superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan use vanity vans when they are out for shooting and pay Rs 1,000 a year. It will now be Rs 45,000 a year.
The Cabinet on Thursday approved an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Tax Act, 1958, by adding the new category of ‘camper van’ (popularly known as vanity van) for putting the vehicle to use other than what it is meant for.
The annual tax will be assessed according to the van’s size — Rs 5,000 for one sq m. Considering the size of the van, the tax liability will not be less than Rs 45,000 a year. The current rate is Rs 1,000 a year. Vanity operators or actors pay minimum charges as per the existing commercial category.
“There was ambiguity in tax assessment because such category was not included in the rule books,” said a statement.
Transport Commissioner Deepak Kapoor justified the hike. “Either actors own such vehicles or they hire from operators who charge an hefty amount on hour basis.”
Kapoor said his department compared tax rates on vanity vans in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where actors pay more for them.
The vanity vans do not roll out directly from automobile factories. Using the original chasis, the vehicle is modified by skilled automobile engineering firms such as the city-based firm DC run by automobile designer Dilip Chhabria.
The Cabinet also withdrew the earlier directive to reduce the carrying capacity of black and yellow cabs that ply outside Mumbai. This will enable operators to use full capacity by paying per passenger tax of Rs 1,000. The tax rates for Omni buses and those with carrying capacity between six and 24 have also been hiked.