Group of Transport Ministers proposes uniform road tax across country

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Guwahati, April 19 (IANS) In a significant decision, the Group of Ministers on Transport on Thursday proposed an “one nation, one tax” formula to bring a harmony in motor vehicle taxes across different states.

“One of the major grievances faced by the service class individual is in transfer of their vehicles from one states to another. The group was of the unanimous opinion that the diverse road tax structure for motor vehicles was a major reason behind this long pending issue. There is an urgent need to harmonize the rates of road tax across the states,” Chairman of the Group of Transport Ministers, Yoonus Khan, said after emerging from a two-day long deliberations here.

The committee instituted in this regard will submit their report within next 15 days time, he said.

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Referring to the GST regime, Yoonus Khan, the Rajasthan Transport Minister, said that like GST has been a game changer for bringing certainty in the tax treatment and provided a level playing field to all the countrymen, uniform road tax will be immensely helpful to curb the menace of tax evasions by registering the vehicles in low tax jurisdictions and then plying the vehicle in another state.

“The group examined the taxes charged by various states and observed that the principles of taxation varies from state to state. The Central government has powers to decide the principles on which the motor vehicles taxes can be levied by the states.

“The group recommends that the motor vehicle taxes should be charged by all the states on the basis of invoice price of the vehicles,” he said, adding that the group also recommends that the rates of road tax across the states be harmonized.

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He said that the group also deliberated on the long-pending issue of the inter-state permit for passenger vehicles.

“The nation has witnessed far reaching reforms after introduction of national permits for goods vehicles. It was opined that the ease of movement across the states in public vehicles is preferable over private cars. The group therefore recommended that the national passenger vehicles permits may be issued by the states for passenger vehicles,” he said adding that while luxury buses may be charged Rs 3 lakh per year, deluxe buses may be charged Rs 2 lakh per year followed by Rs 25,000 per year for taxis.

“The Group noted that the quality of construction of roads as well as vehicles has improved over the years. The axle load for goods vehicles were fixed in 1983. There is an urgent need to increase the carrying capacity of goods vehicles so as to reduce the logistics cost. The group recommends that the carryings capacity of goods vehicles should be increased by at least 20 percent,” he said.

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