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Green tax to fund metro expansion?

If you are worried about your rising petrol bill, this is something that should get you hot under the collar. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has proposed that the Delhi government impose a “Green Tax” of Rs 2 per litre on petrol and diesel in the city.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2009 01:58 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

If you are worried about your rising petrol bill, this is something that should get you hot under the collar. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has proposed that the Delhi government impose a “Green Tax” of Rs 2 per litre on petrol and diesel in the city.

The corporation, set to start the third phase of the Metro project by 2010, is looking at ways to raise approximately Rs 15,000 crore required to extend its network. The corporation has suggested that a Delhi Metro fund be set up by the city government to help raise the amount.

Apart from introducing the Green Tax, the DMRC has also suggested that the city government impose professional tax on people who travel to the National Capital from areas in the National Capital Region like Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad.

Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta, however, said that these were mere proposals and would need to be deliberated upon. “We will form a committee to study these proposals,” Mehta said.

Government officials said a measure like imposing a Green Tax would help garner only around Rs 500 crore, which was a small percentage of the entire amount. “They (DMRC) are trying to raise funds from various quarters. They have also approached Japan International Corporation Agency for a loan,” a government official said.

While the DMRC proposes to impose a new tax to fund its Metro project in the city, Delhi government too had been eying the possibility for a while.

The Delhi government is considering a Transport Development Fund that would help in improving the public transportation network in the city.

The government, however, was yet to decide on how to raise the funds from city’s motorists. The city government already charges 15 paise per litre of diesel as ‘ambient air tax’.

The amount raised under this head is supposed to be used for containing air pollution in the city.