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100 per cent waiver on penalties accrued till December 31 if road tax is paid by February 29

Waiver will be 80 per cent if owners decide to pay original pending amount between January 31 and February 29

Kinsuk Basu | Published 29.12.23, 06:27 AM
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Representational image

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Vehicle owners will be allowed 100 per cent waiver on penalties accrued till December 31 for not paying road tax on time if they pay the tax amount by February 29, the state government announced on Thursday.

Vehicle owners have to pay road tax irrespective of whether it is used for personal or commercial purposes. Besides, the owner of a commercial vehicle has to pay an amount for the route permit.


The notification, signed by transport secretary Saumitra Mohan, states that owners of commercial vehicles will be eligible for a 100 per cent waiver on penalties for late payment of the permit fee and the fee for obtaining the certificate of fitness if the pending amount is paid by January 30.

The waiver will be 80 per cent if the owners decide to pay the original pending amount between January 31 and February 29.

“We want vehicle owners to clear their dues within the prescribed period so that the vehicles remain road-worthy and they don’t have to pay penalties. This will help bring down road accidents and help the state government undertake more development activities with the amount that is collected,” transport minister Snehasis Chakraborty said on Thursday.

“The fee a vehicle owner has to pay for a fitness test is around Rs 600. But if the fee is left unpaid for years (and the vehicle is not subjected to a fitness test), the penalty can add up to Rs 20,000. The state government’s ultimate goal isn’t collecting fines but to ensure vehicles plying on roads are worthy of doing so. Without paying taxes, a vehicle isn’t supposed to hit the roads,” the minister said.

Out of the 1.5crore-odd vehicles registered in the state, the owners of over 12.5 lakh are yet to clear their fees and penalties, officials in the transport department said.

The owners of close to 8 lakh vehicles have not updated the fitness certificate by clearing the pending dues, records with the transport department show.

Senior officials in the state government said the amount pending in the form of road tax and fees is over Rs 2,200 crore. Penalties worth Rs 2,476 crore are pending. Collectively, the vehicle owners owe the government more than Rs 4,600 crore.

The original amount and the penalties have been lying unrealised for over a decade, the officials said. The majority of the defaulters, the official said, are owners of goods vehicles.

“There is a 15-day grace period for failing to pay road tax within the specified date. For the next 45 days, the owner attracts a fine of 25 per cent on the original road tax,” said an official in the transport department.

“If the road tax remains unpaid between 46 and 75 days, the owner invites a 50 per cent penalty. Thereafter, the penalty amount is 100 per cent,” said the official.

Several bus and minibus owners said a fitness test of a goods vehicle costs around Rs 600 but the fine is Rs 50 a day if it is not paid within the stipulated date.

“We have been seeking such a waiver scheme for some time and this will benefit bus and minibus owners across the state,” said Tapan Bandyopadhyay, of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicates.

Last updated on 29.12.23, 06:28 AM

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