In a major relief to the transport sector, the state government is set to waive the annual road tax payable by all transporters and commercial vehicle owners in Maharashtra for six months, beginning April 1.
More than 11.41 lakh vehicles registered in the state are likely to benefit. These include tourist cabs, private service and passenger vehicles, school and luxury buses, goods vehicles and excavators among others.
The state Cabinet is expected to approve the move in its meeting on Wednesday. While the state exchequer will be set back by Rs 700 crore, the government is justifying the proposal on the ground that the transportation industry is facing unprecedented challenges on account of the Covid-19 pandemic and needed a booster dose for sustenance.
This will be the second major economic dole handed out by the government as part of measures to revive the economy. It had earlier announced a special one-time grant, worth Rs 4,000 each, for 12 lakh tribal households.
With vehicular movement barred during the first couple of months of the lockdown and still restricted, transporter associations in the state have been lobbying for incentives to stay afloat.
Maharashtra will be the fifth state to waive road tax amid the pandemic. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Haryana have already announced similar waivers.
Sources, however, said that the perk won’t be available for private car owners, who pay a one-time tax while buying the car. Those eligible, but do not avail the benefit in the six-month period, will have the option of availing a 50 per cent waiver for the whole of 2020-21.
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