The state government plans to levy a ‘green tax’ of Rs 5,000 a year on vehicles — private and commercial — that are 15 years old or more.
This is a part of the state government’s green initiative to discourage the use of old vehicles to reduce pollution.
“We will first levy this tax in metropolitan areas, such as Mumbai, where there is high pollution and then take it to other areas,” said State Transport Minister Radhakrishna-Vikhe Patil. “The proposal will be put forth to the cabinet soon.”
Owners of vintage cars have been exempted from paying any such taxes.
There are more than one crore registered vehicles, including scooters, cars, buses and trucks, in Maharashtra of which almost 40 per cent are more than 15 years old.
This move is as an alternative to the government’s earlier proposal to scrap all vehicles more than 15 years old.
The state had then said that as the engines of old vehicles wear out they emit gases that harm the environment, and so they should not ply on roads.
But the transporters’ lobby had strongly opposed the plan to scrap old vehicles.
“This time we are hoping to get a positive response,” said Vikhe-Patil.
“In fact, the money that comes from such taxes will be used by the state transport department to buy equipment to reduce pollution and conduct pollution checks in the city,” he added.