VIJAYAWADA: Transport sector in AP is waiting with bated breath for the judgement of Hyderabad High Court on imposition of entry tax on AP vehicles when they enter Telangana state.
“The next hearing is scheduled on April 7. If the judgement is delivered on that day, we shall take a call on as to whether to continue our agitation,” AP Lorry Owners’ Association president Y V Eswara Rao said at a news conference.
The transport sector has made a representation to the AP government to initiate a dialogue with the TS government against continuing this practice but it is not very hopeful. It is pinning its hopes on the High Court judgement.
“Imposition of entry tax on AP vehicles is unconstitutional since it violates the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. Since Hyderabad happens to be joint capital for both the states, TS government cannot impose entry tax since everyday several number of vehicles would have to go to Hyderabad,” says KV Ramesh, Krishna District Lorry Owners’ Association president.
The operators say that neither AP nor Telangana government has powers to cancel the five-year permits issued before bifurcation of the state. After the bifurcation of the state, tax structure was left unchanged. Therefore, the vehicles registered in AP prior to bifurcation or prior to April 1, 2015 should be exempted from payment of entry tax, Ramesh says.
The truckers say that extra burden of tax over the present rate of tax for the operator would be anywhere between 104 per cent and 187 per cent. “For instance, for goods vehicle weighing 16,200 kg, the extra burden works out from 104 per cent to 204 per cent while for the goods vehicle weighing 49,000 kg, the extra burden would be 112 per cent and 187 per cent,” Eeswara Rao says.
The sector wants the AP government to take a proactive role in solving the issue as imposition of entry tax is not only not in the interest of people and the transportation sector in AP but also in Telangana because it would lead to escalation in prices of the commodities moved from here to Telangana. The AP government, instead of imposing tax on Telangana vehicles entering AP, should think of making the TS not to impose tax on Andhra vehicles, Eeswara Rao says.
Apart from trucks, taxis are going to take a hit very badly. “As many taxis are single owner ones, the new impost would hit them below the belt.
The TS government is imposing Rs 220 per head on the occupants of the taxis and we have to go to Hyderabad on a regular basis since the airport is located there,” says Vijayawada Taxi Owners’ Welfare Association secretary N Chandrasekhar.
Andhra Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation (ACCIF) president-elect M Muralikrishna described entry tax as unfortunate and wanted the TS government to reconsider its decision. “Every day, thousands of people go to Hyderabad from AP as it is our joint capital. The new impost would be an unbearable burden,” he said.