Owning a car more than 15 years old is going to cost you.
As part of the Maharashtra government's initiative to discourage the use of old vehicles, and hence reduce pollution, the state will start levying a 'green tax' on old private and commercial vehicles.
On May 25, Hindustan Times had reported the state transport department's intention of levying such a tax. On Wednesday, the proposal was cleared by the state Cabinet.
Owners of private cars that are more than 15 years old will have to pay Rs 3,000 for five-year periods. For two-wheeler owners, the amount is Rs 2,000.
There are more than one crore registered vehicles in the state and 40 per cent of them are more than 15 years old.
As vehicles get older, their engines get worn out and their emissions are harmful to the environment. Hence, owners of such vehicles will be taxed, the government's proposal said.
The tax will be levied on commercial vehicles, including autorickshaws, taxis and buses that are more than eight years old. Autorickshaw owners will have to pay Rs 750 and taxi owners Rs 1,250. Bus owners will have to pay 2.5 per cent of the annual vehicle tax, depending on the number of seats.
"We pay the highest tax on vehicles in the country. The 'green tax' would further burden the middle-class. There are vehicles that are well-maintained and meet all the pollution norms even if they are old," said Nitin Dossa, executive chairman, Western India Automobile Association.