CHENNAI: The owners of public transport vehicles are a worried lot as the deadline to pay road tax set by the Tamil Nadu transport department expired on Tuesday and many of them are facing fund crunch due to the lockdown.
“States like Karnataka and Punjab have given tax exemption for two months. However, bus and lorry owners in Tamil Nadu are left in a lurch as the State government has not announced anything on similar lines. We have been under lockdown since June 19. How can we pay the tax now?” asked S Yuvaraj, of Tamil Nadu Sand Lorry Owners’ Association.
He rued that the government said it would charge a penalty of 100 per cent if tax was unpaid for more than 45 days after the due date. A penalty of at least 25 per cent begins within a week of the due date. Regarding this, petitions have been filed by various organisations at the Madras High Court.
In its order dated June 9, the MORTH ordered the validity of Fitness, Permit (all types), Learner’s License and Driving License whose extension of validity could not be granted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, must be treated as extended till September 30. However, there is no announcement on this from the State yet.
The Tamil Nadu Omni Bus Owners’ Association president, D Maran said, “Why should we pay road tax if our vehicles did not hit the roads at all? Also, diesel prices are sky rocketing by the day.” A senior transport department official denied to comment on the issue and said the court will take a decision.