To bail out the stage carriage buses that are grappling with a major financial crisis amid the extended lockdown, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered reduction in their tax rate, from Rs 2.80 to Rs.2.69 per kilometer per vehicle per day. The Chief Minister also directed the Transport Department to allow transport vehicle owners to pay tax arrears within one month, by June 30, without penalty and interest.
With thousands of people, directly and indirectly, earning their livelihood from the transport sector, these moves would help alleviate some of their sufferings in these times of crisis, said the Chief Minister, pointing out complete stoppage of bus services following the lockdown had resulted in huge financial losses to the operators of non-AC buses, which are a common mode of transport for the ordinary people of the state.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Transport K. Siva Prasad said the decision of curtailing the tax rates was aimed at providing immediate relief to the stage carriage buses, so that they may come out of their current financial woes. The move would help protect the interests of the workers employed by the sector, he added.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has also exempted persons owing transport vehicles from the provisions of section 8 and 11A of the Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1924 (Punjab Act No. 4 of 1924 (amended 2007), subject to the conditions that the owners of transport vehicles, who are in arrears of tax under the Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1924 can pay the arrears of the taxes within one month from the June 1 to June 30.
“No penalty or interest or late payment of tax shall be imposed/recovered during this period,” said Prasad, adding that if the payment of arrears of tax is not made within the stipulated period, the arrears of tax along with penalty and interest shall become recoverable on the expiry of stipulated period. The notifications in this regard have already been issued, added Prasad.