The state government on Thursday announced a tax and permit-fee waiver for private bus and minibus operators following their demand for sops to help them tide over the losses incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
CM Mamata Banerjee said her administration had decided to waive the one-year permit fee for buses. The decision was taken at a state Cabinet meeting.
The bus operators had been seeking the government’s help to stem the losses suffered due to fuel price hike, and an increase in other operating costs. The situation has been made worse by a cap on the number of commuters who can board buses.
“Those who have not yet submitted the permit fee will have to pay the fee, no penalty,” Banerjee told reporters at Nabanna.
Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said road tax and additional tax being paid by the private bus operators as per the West Bengal Motor Vehicles Act, 1979, were being waived from April 1 to September 30. He told reporters that those who had not paid their dues till March 30 would have to make the payments by August 31 to be eligible for the sops.
She said this new package was announced since the private bus owners had sought tax waivers instead of the Rs 15,000 monthly incentive for each bus for a period of three months that the government had announced earlier.
Responding to the government’s decision, the Joint Council of Bus Syndicates insisted there was no alternative to fare revision. The organisation’s general secretary Tapan Bandyopadhyay said, “Only a fare hike can save the ailing sector.” With PTI inputs