MANGALURU:Vehicle owners who enthusiastically throng the road transport office to get their new vehicles registered are in for a shock as the government has silently begun collecting a certain amount in addition to a slew of taxes that are already in place.
The additional one-time amount now being collected is essentially the road safety cess which is introduced since March 6 across all RTOs in the state. The amount thus collected is subsequently remitted to the state road safety fund.
The state legislature had in November 2017 passed the Karnataka State Road Safety Authority Bill through which it levied this cess not costing in excess of Rs 1,000 per vehicle at the time of registration, to fund the State Road Safety Authority.
As per the circular issued by the government to the RTO , new two-wheelers and three-wheelers are supposed to cough up a cess of Rs 500 while other light vehicles, including four-wheelers, are supposed to pay a cess amounting to Rs 1,000 at the time of registration.
“We were issued a circular directing to collect this cess since March 6, and we have promptly swung into action. While vehicle owners have been questioning the rationale behind collecting this cess, it is important that the public contribute to road safety keeping in mind the larger interest of road users. This cess does not come as a replacement to any other taxes, but is essentially an additional amount to be paid while registering their vehicles,” John Misquith, in-charge assistant regional transport officer, told TOI.
While the new cess has left the public fretting, the government, for its part, has maintained that the money thus collected will be utilised for conducting road safety awareness programmes, purchase equipment related to road safety, fund studies on projects, undertake training sessions, trauma-care programmes and also look after the administrative expenses of the authority.
Date: October 25, 2019