'Amendment to Motor Vehicles Act to help corporates'

'Amendment to Motor Vehicles Act to help corporates'

Opposition parties, including the Congress, on Monday opposed the proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act in the Rajya Sabha, saying it dilutes the powers of the state governments and helps corporate houses.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, was introduced in the Upper House in April 2017 but was referred to a select panel.

After taking into account the panel's recommendation, the bill was re-introduced in the Rajya Sabha.

Moving the bill for consideration and passage, Minister of State for Transport Mansukhlal Mandaviya said the bill aims to bring technological upgrade emerging in road transport sector and curb corruption in the process.

Participating in the debate on the bill, B K Hari Prasad of the Congress said that though the government wants to bring several changes in the existing bills there is no mention of road safety in most of them.

Alleging that power for registration of vehicles has been given to private dealers in the bill, he said this would dilute the state government's powers and help corporate houses.

Even the registration charges to be paid to the dealers will be higher than what the RTO charges, he said, and sought to know where this money would go.

He objected to higher penalty, saying it would hurt the poor as the police never slaps penalties on the rich.

"If you go through the bill, it does not create a sense of road safety. Some clauses have been amended to help the corporates and dilute the powers of state government," he said, adding that the government did not consider the select committee's suggestion.

BJD's Pratap Keshari Deb said the bill favoured the Centre and, if passed in the current form, would lead to clashes between central and state governments over various issues. Members from YSR Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, BSP and AAP also opposed the bill.

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