THE financial capital has witnessed a 13 per cent rise in the number of new vehicle registrations in 2015-16 in comparison to last year, indicate figures from the Regional Transport Office (RTO). However, the rise is slower in comparison to the rise witnessed the previous year.
According to figures received from the RTO, the number of newly registered vehicles increased from 2,14,251 in 2014-15 to 2,40,746 in 2015-16 – a 13% increase. However, the rise in 2014-15 was 17% compared to 2013-14 which witnessed registration of 1,82,424 vehicles.
Increase in spending capacity and more tourist cars in the market are being cited as the reasons for the growth. “More tourist cars have entered the market than ever in the past few years. Also, people’s willingness to buy high-end vehicles and spending capacity has seen a rise. Last year, the transport department had also announced lotteries for rickshaws and taxis which saw a simultaneous boost in their numbers,” said a transport department official.
The somewhat slower growth rate as compared to the previous year is being attributed to the monsoon-driven market of automobiles.
“The automobile market is affected by the monsoon cycle. With the drought persisting for a long time, people’s ability to spend had gone down. However, automobile is a luxury which will be taxed and is affected by the taxation policies of the Centre,” said another transport official.
An increase was also witnessed in the number of registered vehicles in Thane and Panvel regions. A 12% increase was witnessed in the number of vehicles registered in 2015-16 in Thane region. The growth is 8% in the Panvel region.
“Inflationary variations in the economy could have caused the slow rise in the number of vehicles getting registered in the city. Many vehicles, though belonging to city vehicle owners, are registered outside Maharashtra for various reasons. This could be a reason of the decline witnessed,” said transport expert A V Shenoy.
“Octroi payment for vehicles registered in the greater Mumbai region could also be the reason,” he added. “Registering vehicles in Navi Mumbai saves a vehicle owner from octroi payment which contributes to the rise of vehicles in that area. The implementation of Goods Service Tax (GST) next year will level this problem,” he added.
Currently, there are at least 25 lakh vehicles registered at RTOs across Mumbai. According to data from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), a majority of vehicle owners have been found to live in Navi Mumbai, Vasai-Virar, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli and other areas.