Govt reduces toll tax on multi-axle vehicles

"In the meeting held with the AIMTC -- the truckers association -- on Friday, the government had agreed to reduce the toll tax on multi-axle vehicles to Rs 2.50 per kilometer from existing Rs 3.45 per km," a source said on condition of anonymity.However, this could not be officially confirmed.

Officials of All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) could not be reached for comments.
Sources in the ministry added that truckers wanted parity between the toll paid on two-axle vehicles and those paid on multi-axle vehicles.Earlier in the day, AIMTC threatened to go on indefinite strike from December 5, if toll taxes are not rationalised.

"Our main demand is rationalisation of heavy toll being collected at the toll plazas, removal of perpetuity clause of Toll Act 1997, reduction of toll on multi-axle vehicles among other issues," AIMTC President G R Shanmugappa told reporters here.

Perpetuity clause of Toll Act 1997, means that even after the recovery of capital cost by the developer, the toll collection would continue till the government takes a call."Ministry was of the view that the tolls will be for perpetuity as money would be needed for the highways programme and for maintenance," the official added.

Shanmugappa added that AIMTC has reminded the government that more than 25 per cent of the toll plazas have already recovered more than principle amount along with interest and are making abnormally high profits and it is not justified.

AIMTC said that if their demand is not met by November 25, over 70 lakh truckers will go off the road and the strike would be extended to other segments such as tempos and small goods carriers.

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