Equipment hirers stir may hit construction

Association president B Channa Reddy said the State budget presented in April 2010 had upped the quarterly tax on vehicles of the construction industry. “We have been paying quarterly tax until now. The government has hiked the tax and brought a system of LTT (Life Time Tax) to be payable to the Transport Department. This has increased the tax to an abnormally high amount. We are forced to pay 333 per cent additional tax,” said Channa Reddy.

Commissioner for Transport and Road Safety Bhaskar Rao said the department is only implementing budget proposals. “If, owners want a reduction in LTT, they have to approach the government. We have been authorised to seize the vehicle, if tax has not been paid,” he said.

Transport Department officials said most of the construction equipment owners rent  their equipment to government agencies like the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and charge by the hour.

The earth excavators and cranes are classified as non-transport vehicles and most of them are defaulters on payment of quarterly tax, a RTO official said. A spokesperson of the BMRCL said the strike has not affected the Bangalore Metro work. “We will introduce an additional shift, if the strike continues beyond ten days,” he said.

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