India stuck in London congestion charge logjam

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Nov 07, 2013 02:07 IST

If you drive into central London on weekdays, you will enter a zone that is marked ‘C’, which stands for ‘Congestion Charging Zone’, where you need to pay a ‘congestion charge’ of £10 per car.

However, in a continuing impasse, around 71 embassies and high commissions have not been paying the charge. These include India, the US, Japan, Russia, Germany and France.

According to Transport for London (TfL) — the government body responsible for transport in Greater London — the debt owed by the Indian high commission here is over £3 million, making it the sixth highest defaulter.

The key point of dispute is whether the ‘congestion charge’ is a charge for a service or a tax. TfL officials insist it is a ‘charge’ for a service and not a tax, while India and other foreign missions believe it is a tax, which they are exempt from paying under the Vienna Convention. Prashant Pise, Head of Chancery in the Indian high commission, told HT: “congestion charge was not a service charge but a tax which should be exempted under Vienna Convention.” But the London transport authorities have now urged the Foreign Office to take the matter to the International Court of Justice.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Trump vows to hit Clinton harder in next US presidential debate
Show comments