Luxury taxi operators on Wednesday threatened to withdraw their vehicles from government departments if their registration and other fees were not reduced. The owners and operators have also decided to observe a token strike on February 14 to protest the registration fee hike.
The Joint Council of Luxury Taxi Association announced a series of movements demanding a rollback of the tax hike. Association president and Trinamul Congress leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said that transport minister Subhas Chakraborty had assured them of a reconsideration of their demand but he did not keep his word.
“Most luxury taxis are hired out to government departments and agencies, at a very low rate. Besides, there have been several hikes in the prices of fuel and spares, so it has become very difficult for the owners to maintain the vehicles. If the government does not remove the registration fee hike, vehicle-owners will have to adopt other measures,” warned Chattopadhyay.
The association will make a fresh appeal to the transport minister. Apart from a dip in the tax hike, Chattopadhyay said, the association wants a ban on private vehicles for commercial purposes, timely payment of car rent, and a halt to harassment by the police and public vehicles department officials.
Transport department officials, however, said it was not possible to reduce any tax or fees because an Act had been passed and a notification issued listing the tax and fees structure.