Solan, September 18
Protesting the recent imposition of a fresh levy on the tempo travellers plying on All India Tourist Vehicles (Permit) Rules 2023 by the Transport Department, a large number of transporters from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh today raised a banner of protest at the inter-state barrier at Parwanoo.
‘Contrary to notification’
They said it was contrary to the notification dated August 4 issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways whereby tourist vehicles plying under All India Tourist (permit) Rules, 2023 are not supposed to be charged any levy in any state. These permits were made for seamless and hassle-free movement of tourists across states. They handed over a memorandum through the SDM Kasauli to the Chief Minister demanding a roll back of this levy.
United under the banner of Azad Taxi Union, the transporters said it was unfair to levy Rs 3,000 per day along with a cess of 200 per day on their 13, 17 and 23 seater tempo travellers which were operating on all-India tourist permits. They protested from 12 noon to 4:45 pm and raised slogans against the state government.
“If the Volvo buses were plying as state carriage and evading taxes, then the officials of the state transport department should look into their operations and not punish the tempo travellers by levying similar taxes on them,” they argued.
The union president Sharanjit Singh Kalsi, chairman, Harnayaran Singh Mann and others said they have initiated a peaceful protest today but if their demands were not met and the new tax notification issued on July 24 was not rolled back they would seal the state’s borders.
This tax has become applicable from September 1 on all vehicles entering the state from other states.
“Since the permit fee collected from such vehicles is disbursed to all states as per the rules, the state governments have been advised not to collect any levy or border tax from vehicles plying under All India Tourist (permit) Rules, 2023,” said Sharanjit Singh Kalsi.
They argued that they were already paying central taxes and it was unfair to levy double taxation on them. They added that despite taking up the issue with the principal secretary transport at Shimla nothing has been done to roll back the tax as assured.
The union blamed the deputy CM, who also holds the charge of the Transport Department, for considering them at par with 50-seater Volvo buses and levying similar tax on them. The transporters said they already paid central taxes as per the Central vehicle rules, besides the state taxes in Punjab. Hence, this additional tax was unfair.
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