KERALA: The green tax introduced by the Government of Kerala in its revised budget for 2016-17 gets a thumps up from the automobile dealers in the State. They feel that the policy decisions of the new government are in right direction, with emphasis on tourism and support to trading.
“It (imposing green tax) is a good decision,” says John K Paul, president of Kerala Automobile Dealers Association (KADA) and managing director of Popular Vehicles & Services Pvt Ltd.
“Once the green tax is imposed, people will have time to plan and replace the old vehicle. It is better than imposing a ban overnight,” he added.
The association had earlier said that the decision of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in May, to ban diesel vehicles of more than 10 years old and diesel vehicles with engines larger than 2,000cc will bring down vehicle sales in Kerala by 20 per cent.
The new green tax proposed in the revised Budget for the year 2016-17, presented by the Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac last Thursday, will be levied on the private vehicles with four wheel or more wheels and older than 15 years and transport and other vehicles with four or more wheels older than 10 years.
At the time of renewal of registration, Rs 400 will be levied on private vehicles. Light transport vehicles will have to pay Rs 200, when the fitness certificate is renewed. While, Rs 300 will be levied on medium transport vehicles, Rs 400 on heavy transport vehicles at the time of renewal of fitness certificate.
This would give enough time for the vehicle owners to plan and replace the old vehicles, thus helping to improve the environment without putting burden on the vehicle owners. They also suggested that the government can also think of increasing the green tax for the vehicles each year after the completion of the stiupated 10 year, 15 year usage.
While cities like Delhi has some similar regulations, it would be a rare move from the State’s perspective, they said. The association also says that the revised budget is positive and looks towards right direction.
“The government did not get much time to work on it, but it is a thought process, which the government will be working towards implementing,” said Paul. In a state like Kerala, where manufacturing is less, the emphasis is more on tourism and trading and keeping the environment clean is also important for attracting tourists.