Hill motorTax relief

Kalimpong: The state transport department issued a notification on Wednesday that no penalty will be levied on the people of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts for non-payment of motor vehicle taxes between June 9 and September 15 last year because of the unrest in the hills.

The order also said the penalty collected for non-payment of quarterly and annual taxes during the period will be considered as advance and adjusted against future payments for any subsequent period in due course. "The penalty collected for non-payment of one-time tax during that period would be refunded or adjusted against future payments for any subsequent period, as may be opted for by the payee. The penalty amount collected for the non-payment of lifetime tax during that period may be refunded upon receipt of such prayer from the payee," the order added.

The hill residents had complained that despite the state finance department's "memorandum" of November 27 exempting them from paying penalties for their failure to pay various taxes during the days of the agitation, the transport department in the hills had been levying penalties.

The November 27 memorandum issued by H.K. Dwivedi, the principal secretary in the finance department, clearly stated that the exemption was for all government taxes "by whatever name called" while acknowledging the difficulties faced by the hill residents in making payments during the unrest.

During the over three-month long agitation period, the hill residents could not pay a wide range of bills starting from electricity to telephone to road and other taxes. Payment on the Internet also couldn't be done because of a ban on Internet services during the agitation.


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