Ministers recommend uniform road tax structure for vehicles across country

If accepted, the recommendation will allow the transfer of vehicles from one state to another without levying road tax.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2018 10:49 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
uniform road tax structure,Road transport and highways ministry,Vehicle transport
The recommendation was made by a group of ministers (GoM) constituted by the Union road transport and highways ministry.(HT File Photo)

Transferring vehicles from one state to another could become hassle free soon, if a recommendation by a group of state transport ministers is accepted by the government.

The group of ministers (GoM) constituted by the Union road transport and highways ministry, which met on Friday in Guwahati, has recommended a uniform structure of road tax for vehicles across states, a senior government official said. The GoM is headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yoonus Khan.

The recommendation, if accepted will allow the transfer of vehicles from one state to another without levying road tax. The GoM has also recommended national passenger vehicles permit for passenger cars.

“A uniform tax structure will put a check on people registering their vehicles in low tax states and running them in other states. This would also bring necessary relief to genuine cases requiring transfer of vehicles,” a road ministry spokesperson said.

Noting that the Centre has the powers to decide the principles on which the motor vehicles tax can be levied, the GoM recommended that the tax be based on invoice price of the vehicles. It has recommended three slabs, 8 percent tax on vehicles below 10 lakhs, 10 percent for vehicles costing between 10 -20 lakh, and 12 percent for vehicles above 20 lakh. Diesel vehicles may have to pay 2 percent extra taxes, while electric vehicles will be given a two percent discount.

However, implementing the uniform road tax structure won’t be easy as all states will have to come on board.

AK Saseendran, the transport minister of Kerala, the only non-BJP ruled state part of the meeting, however, expressed reservations. “There needs to be more clarity,” he said. “One nation, One Tax is a good slogan, but taxation is not something which the transport ministers must be deliberating on,” he said on the sidelines of the meeting adding how Kerala has not had a great experience with the GST.

The two day meeting which concluded on Friday was attended by transport ministers from Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Kerala, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya and Jharkhand.

The GoM has also recommended a national bus and taxi permit on lines of such permit for goods transport.

“Public transport in the country is growing annually at a rate of just about 2 percent, as against a 20 percent annual growth in private transport. A national permit will give the much needed fillip to public transport and help reduce road congestion and its attendant problems,” a ministry statement said.

The next meeting of the Goods and Service Council, too, where transport ministers are invited along with the finance minister would help in building consensus on the issue, Khan said in a press conference after the meeting.

Meanwhile, a committee of five secretaries from the states of Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Rajasthan has been asked to submit a report within 15 days to build further consensus on other charges and fee which vary from state to state.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 23:55 IST