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Delhi govt plans to introduce 50% rebate on road tax for CNG vehicles

The transport department has prepared a proposal for the rebate in addition to a 50% concession in registration charges.

delhi Updated: Aug 21, 2018 08:40 IST
Vatsala Shrangi
Vatsala Shrangi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi CNG vehicles,Delhi CNG cars,Delhi government
More than 1.8 lakh private cars were registered in Delhi between April 2017 and March 2018, of which only 14,824 were CNG-fitted units, according to official figures.(AP File Photo)

The Delhi government plans to introduce a 50% rebate on road tax for people buying factory-fitted CNG cars to increase sales as it attempts to curb vehicular pollution, according to transport minister Kailash Gahlot.

The transport department has prepared a proposal for the rebate in addition to a 50% concession in registration charges, a plan that was announced by the Aam Aadmi Party government in its latest Budget.

“The concession in road tax must act as a direct incentive for car buyers to opt for CNG. The proposal is yet to go to the Cabinet. We intend to offer similar benefits in the electric vehicles policy, which is under process. We hope to implement both by this winter,” said Gahlot. The transport department has sent the proposal to Gahlot for his deliberation.

The road tax rebate aims to reduce vehicular pollution by encouraging people to buy cars that use CNG, an eco-friendly alternative to petrol and diesel. More than 1.8 lakh private cars were registered in Delhi between April 2017 and March 2018, of which only 14,824 were CNG-fitted units, according to official figures.

The average road tax for four-wheelers in Delhi ranges between Rs 18,000 and Rs 20,000, depending on the cost of the car. The road tax slab differs for various categories of four-wheelers — 4% on cars up to Rs 6 lakh, 7% on cars above Rs 6 lakh and up to Rs 10 lakh and 10% for cars priced above Rs 10 lakh.

“A proposal for formulating a policy of granting concession in road tax for private CNG cars was sent to the minister around a week ago. The proposed scheme is in addition to the 50% waiver on registration fee of factory-fitted CNG cars,” said a senior Delhi government official who asked not to be named.

Air quality has drastically deteriorated in the national capital in recent years, prompting the government to take steps to curb the alarming levels of pollution. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called the city a “gas chamber” last year as PM 2.5 levels breached “hazardous” levels.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had proposed the 50% concession in the registration charges of private CNG cars during his Budget speech in March. However, the addition of the road tax concession to the proposal came in July after the government realised that the registration discount would not be enough to increase sales, the official said. The charge for vehicle registration in Delhi is Rs 600.

Sisodia had said in his speech that the scheme would be implemented after Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s approval.

The transport department will now prepare a draft Cabinet note incorporating both the proposals, another official said. “The present proposal is meant to make more private vehicle owners adopt CNG-powered cars over a petrol or diesel vehicle. Vehicular pollution has been a major contributor to the poor air quality levels in Delhi, in particular, during the winter,” the official added.

According to a study by IIT-Kanpur published in 2016, vehicular pollution contributes 20-25% to the air pollution in Delhi during the winter. The number goes down to 6-9% in the summer, the study says.

A report released by the World Health Organization earlier this year said the country had the world’s 14 most polluted cities. Delhi ranked sixth most polluted in the report.

The Delhi government has taken several measures to attempt cleaning the air, including the odd-even traffic rationalisation scheme. However, the scheme did not show a substantial impact in reducing pollution levels, air quality index patterns showed.

Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment, said: “Delhi has taken steps to shift its public transport from diesel to CNG. Promoting CNG for personal vehicles is a good step to reduce toxic vehicular emissions. If the policy helps in reducing the number of diesel cars on city roads, it will help in reducing the toxic risk to a large extent.”

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 02:30 IST