BHUBANESWAR: With the transport sector adversely hit due to the lockdown, the All Odisha Bus Owners’ Association on Saturday urged the State government to exempt Motor Vehicle (MV) tax for four months.
The association also urged the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and the Ministry of Finance to extend the validity of insurance of buses for four months and defer the EMIs for three months without any additional interest for the exempted period.
There are around 14,000 private buses in the State. Of them, 250 operate from Odisha to other states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
“Buses operating within Odisha have to pay MV tax to the government every month. Inter-state operators have to do so here and outside,” said the association’s spokesperson Debashish Nayak.
He said had the Odisha government informed the association about its decision to impose lockdown, the members could have submitted the necessary documents to the regional transport offices in the State to take their buses off roads.
“If an owner wishes to take his bus off road, then he has to submit a form at the RTO before commencement of the upcoming month. As the lockdown was imposed from May 5, we could not submit the request at the RTO and now we are forced to pay the tax,” said Nayak.
Most of the bus owners pay EMI of Rs 60,000 per month for their vehicles and the association has sought an exemption on payment of the installments on their loans for at least three months.