Taxation row: Ganesh Kumar warns Tamil Nadu transport department

Ganesh said the TN transport department took a unilateral decision to impose Rs 4,000 extra per seat without consulting with Kerala.
Kerala Transport Minister K B Ganesh Kumar
Kerala Transport Minister K B Ganesh KumarPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has hardened its stand on Tamil Nadu-registered vehicles in the state over the inter-state vehicle taxation issue. Transport Minister K B Ganesh Kumar warned the TN transport department of a tit-for-tat response to its decision to charge additional permit tax on vehicles from Kerala.

Ganesh said the TN transport department took a unilateral decision to impose Rs 4,000 extra per seat without consulting with Kerala. “It happened at a time when the Centre is saying ‘One Nation, One Taxation.’ Tamil Nadu refused to relent even after our officers held talks. So I asked my department to reciprocate in the same measure.

If they charge Rs 4,000 per seat for vehicles from Kerala, we will charge the same for vehicles from there. They must know that Sabarimala season is near and the maximum number of vehicles are coming from Tamil Nadu. We will fill the coffers,” he said. “There should be no doubt that if they hurt people going there, we will hurt people coming here. There won’t be any compromise. If they halt KSRTC buses, then we will halt TNSTC buses also,” he said.

The additional tax would cost Rs 1 lakh per bus in a month. Inter-state bus services from Kerala to TN were affected after the latter halted buses demanding additional tax in the third week of June. Then, tourist bus operators moved Supreme Court. Later, TN decided against halting buses following talks with transport department officials in Kerala.

However, bus operators complained that TN authorities continue to harass operators of buses registered in Kerala. “Buses with All India Tourist Permit (AITP) can operate anywhere. When the law is against them they have started issuing fines. Tamil Nadu is putting pressure on us to register there,” said a representative of the Inter-state Bus Operator’s Association of Karnataka Rijas A J.

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