Ludhiana, March 20, 2013: The development of any state is recognised by the condition of roads and the situation of transport sector in that state. But the Punjab government seems to be ignorant of this fact and that too despite when transport sector is the second most primary sector after agriculture in Punjab. Common masses of Punjab had mortgaged their properties and holdings and then invested in this sector. Punjab Government has raised all the fees and taxes and that too in huge amounts for all the vehicles ranging from two- wheelers to buses/ trucks. Government instead of working for the cause of common man is benefiting the private companies who have been given various tenders for day to day works of Transport Department. To fulfill the revenues of government, now it has openly started looting the common man.
This was claimed by Sohan Singh Bains, Chairman, State Transport Advisory Committee Punjab.
He added the evidence of the facts is that now for every document the applicant has to pay minimum of Rs. 420, excluding government fees, charged under the name of user, society and scanning fees. While the government fees is just Rs. 30 for a two wheelers for ownership transfer, duplicate, HPA entering and cancellation. The amount charged is heavy, and that too the amount is benefiting the private company and the Transport Society. Common man is being looted.
He further said the taxation policy of the transport is itself very shocking. Citing example, he said if a firm wants to use a Sumo/Qualis or any 9/10 seater vehicle for its personal purpose then a tax of Rs. 50,000 annually is levied on it, and if the firm wants to use 52 seater bus for its staff then a tax of Rs. 90,000 for one year is levied on it. These taxes are applicable from September 1, 2012. Sometimes there is such a situation that the cost of vehicle is less than the tax levied on it.
He said the whole taxation policy of the government is in question, as along with this the owners have to pay insurance, fitness and permit fees, etc. In such a situation how industries would boost in the state. An important issue in this matter is that at one stage government is talking of ensuring women safety and at other the taxes for the vehicles to be used for employees of industries are raised too such huge amounts that the industry cannot afford it.
Even the Bus Companies except few big companies, are running in heavy losses as the tax for each bus has been increased from Rs. 2.25 paisa per kilometer to Rs. 2. 75 paisa per kilometer alongwith high prices of Diesel, Tyres, Insurance, spare parts and Toll taxes, he pointed out. He said even the public was indirectly charged as the fare was also raised by 10 paise per kilometer. The situation of Bus Industry is critical in Punjab, and many small bus companies are on the verge of closure, he rued.
He said if the government wants to survive the Transport sector in Punjab and protect the common man from being getting looted the whole fees and tax structure must be revised at the earliest and bring them at rational amounts. Bains said that State Transport Advisory Committee demands that the government must also once provide an Amnesty Scheme to all commercial vehicle owners from penalties and interest on late fitness, permit and Motor Vehicle Tax so that they can once get a new life.