Strong online resentment against state-specific vehicle tax

It’s raining petitions, originating from the City, on change.org. From a petition seeking justice for deceased IAS officer D K Ravi to the one floated by a mother of a six-year-old girl writing to the State’s education minister for ensuring the safety of schoolchildren, the subject may vary, but not the overwhelming response to the petition.

The latest to get on to the petition bandwagon is the one by a group of non-KA vehicle owners who have raised the issue of states amending road tax rules such Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana and Haryana.

The petition addressed to the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways seeks ‘One Nation One Road Tax policy’ from the Union government, so that people can drive through states seamlessly.

The petition, which was launched six days ago, has been signed by 20,250 people who are not from the City alone, but also from across the country.

The petitioners state that on February 28 , 2014, the State government amended the Motor Vehicle Taxation Act (known as Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Act 2014), making it mandatory for any vehicle plying continuously in Karnataka for more than 30 days to pay the Lifetime Tax (LTT) levied by the State government, whereas the
Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) rules state that any motor vehicle plying continuously in another state needs to be registered in 11 months.

Similar law

Following this, the Telangana Road Transport Authority passed a similar law which necessitates a Non-Andhra Pradesh/Telangana State vehicle to pay LTT in 30 days.
The Telangana RTA has been harassing travellers and has seized countless non-AP/TS vehicles, the petition says. Similarly, the Gurgaon traffic department passed the same amendment in November 2014 and wanted non-Haryana registered cars to register their cars within one month of arrival.

Kerala followed suit recently and wants non-Kerala state vehicles to pay yearly road tax upon one month of arrival.

The petitioners said that with such amendments in motor vehicle rules, these state are going against the freedom of movement which the Constitution guarantees and are also against the spirit of the federal principles.

“Thus, there is a need to implement One Nation-One Road Tax policy without further delay, which will help us drive without borders,”  the petition says.

Srinivas Reddy Maram from Hyderabad, who has signed the petition, says, “We are Indians and tax should be collected by the Central government and distributed across the states. As a citizen of this country, I have a right to live anywhere with my family and movable assets”.

Amol Apte, another signatory from the City, says, “If I have paid lifetime tax, why should I pay it again in another state. Either the government should put a mechanism in place to transfer the tax from one state to another or keep it uniform across (states). We never receive money back

from the state where we came from”.

DH News Service

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