CHANDIGARH: Private bus operators in Punjab today threatened to launch a statewide stir against the state government's move of increasing motor vehicle tax on buses.
"We have given one week time to the state government to rollback hike in motor vehicle tax on buses otherwise the entire private bus transporters will go on strike and no bus will ply in the state," said R S Bajwa, Secretary, Punjab Motor Union (PMU) today.
PMU is a body of passenger road transport operators.
Bajwa said the state government has raised motor vehicle tax by 13 paise per km on ordinary and integral coach buses by amending the Punjab Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1924, adding, increase in levy will render transport business unviable.
After the hike, the new rate of motor vehicle tax now stands at Rs 3.13 per km per vehicle per day for ordinary buses and Rs 1.88 per km for ordinary HVAC buses (3X2 seats) and Integral Coach (2X2 seats), he said.
The tax has also been raised for buses plying in Punjab but registered in other states in the range of Rs 3.63 per km to Rs 6.13 per km, he said.
Private bus operators have been demanding reduction in motor vehicle tax from Rs 3 per km to Rs 2 per km, in the wake of rising input cost including diesel prices and other incidental charges.
"Rather than acting on our demands, the state government has raised the taxes which will hit the transport business hard," he said.
The state government had announced a hike of about 8 paise per km to 91 paise per km for ordinary bus fares last month.
Private bus operators annually pay Rs 300 crore in taxes to state government and they have 7,800 buses including 5,000 mini buses running across the state.