Buyers of new vehicles will have to shell out a little more for registration from Monday as an additional cess in the form of ‘Road Safety Fund’ will be levied. The cess will be charged along with other taxes levied during the registration.
From October 24, owners of newly registered vehicles and also those brought to Maharashtra from other sates will have to bear an additional tax under the Motor Vehicles Act. The money would be used for the creation of Road Safety Fund, as announced in the monsoon session of the Legislative Assembly, and for skill development and infrastructure requirement against road accidents in the state, officials said.
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According to the government regulation issued in this connection, personal vehicles such as two-wheelers and cars, and auto-rickshaws will have to pay 2 per cent of the tax levied during registration. The cess will be 4 per cent of the annual tax for light motor vehicles, 10 per cent of that for medium and heavy goods vehicles, 5 per cent for contract carriages and 0.5 per cent for public transport buses and other stage carriages. The state government hopes to collect Rs 250 crore annually through the cess, instead of depending on annual budgetary provisions.
“For a two-wheeler costing above 140 cc of engine capacity, it will be 2 per cent of the 8 per cent tax levied during the registration of the vehicle. All vehicles registered before Monday will be exempt from paying this additional tax. The money will be collected for the provision of equipment against increasing road accidents in the state,” said an official in the transport department.
“As the cess is levied on the tax, commuters won’t be pinched that much for their new vehicles. The revenue shall be utilised for the measures of road safety,” said Transport Commissioner Praveen Gedam.
The cess, said the officials, would aid in the procurement of more advanced surveillance systems such as CCTV cameras and drones to keep watch on highways, expressways and arterial roads. It will also help increase the number of speed-breakers, procure more breathalysers, equip the enforcement authorities with more speed guns, provide funds for drivers’ training on road safety and also medical check-ups.
“The amount will be used more for awareness programmes and safety audits of the roads. It is mainly aimed at nurturing the skill development of drivers and giving a boost to the infrastructure development that will curb road accidents,” said a senior official.
The state has a vehicle population of almost 2 crore. There have been an average of 64,000 accidents annually for the last five years, which killed nearly 13,000 people and rendered 40,000 physical impairments. Creating better infrastructure for the RTOs will also remain the aim.
The state also plans to set up a committee comprising secretaries of transport, home departments and other stakeholders, and headed by the chief secretary of transport department with the transport commissioner as its secretary. The committee will decide on the utility of the fund collected. A road safety cell could also be set up for the scientific analysis of road accidents, the officials said.