New permit rules:Now, tourist vehicles can ferry individual passengers too
Lucknow: The new All-India tourist permit rules that became effective from April 1 have allowed tourist vehicles to transport passengers individually also and not necessarily in a group apart from enabling them to deposit the tax online centrally rather than pay the same individually to the states concerned on the borders.
The new provisions named ‘The All India Tourist Vehicles (Authorisation or Permit) Rules, 2021’ may, however, take some time to be fully operational in UP, like in most other states, with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) developing the requisite system.
“The new all-India permits rules have been notified coming into effect from April 1 but it may take some time for the new system to be fully operational before the NIC in Delhi makes necessary changes in the software,” transport commissioner Dheeraj Sahu said. The new rules, he said, had several important provisions to benefit transporters engaged in the tourism sector.
The most striking feature of the new rules, according to another senior transport official, is that now any transporter with an all-India tourist permit can freely take passengers individually from different locations to different destinations. “Though the same has not been explained in as many words, its interpretation means the same,” he claimed.
Till now, a transporter could ferry tourists only in a group and not individually after obtaining a contract carriage permit that would be valid for the specified routes and for the specified number of days. “But now they can get permits on an annual basis and operate on any route across the country taking passengers from and dropping at different points,” said the officials.
The rules themselves define the term ‘authorisation’ granted by the transport authority to enable tourist vehicles operator/ owner to ply tourist vehicles throughout the territory of India subject to the payment of taxes or fees, if any, levied by the state or Union territory through which it plies.
Defining the scope and validity of authorisation or permit, the rules clarify the first authorization/ permit “shall be valid throughout India” and second the authorization/permit “shall be used for the transport of passengers individually or in a group, along with their personal luggage”.
According to the rules any transporter can submit application along with the prescribed fee for the all-India tourist permit electronically through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ website https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/.
Liberalising the permit obtaining process the rules make it binding on the Transport Authority to issue the authorisation or permit within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of application.
“If no decision is taken by the Transport Authority within thirty days of receipt of the application, the authorisation or permit shall be deemed to have been granted and generated through electronic system,” rules say.
The rules also provide that permit shall not be granted to a tourist vehicle after the completion of twelve years from the date of first registration of the vehicle but in case of a diesel vehicles registered in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, permit this duration has been further curtailed to 10 years only.
Also, the tourist vehicles which have been granted permit are required under these rules to prominently display the words ‘All India Tourist Permit’ on the rear left side of the vehicle in white letters in blue background along with the validity of the permit.
Although the new policy’s stated objective is to promote the tourism and the transport sectors by encouraging transporters to buy and ply more tourist vehicles, the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC has its own apprehensions with regard to certain provisions.
“The provision allowing tourist vehicles to transport passengers individually will finish the sanctity of nationalized routes and eat into the revenue of country’s all state transport undertakings, including the UPSRTC because now transporters can get stage carriage permits to transport tourists individually even on the nationalized routes that are otherwise reserved exclusively for STUs,” a senior UPSRTC official pointed out.