Maharashtra government to levy 'green' tax on older vehicles

The Maharashtra government has decided to levy a green tax on old public and private vehicles in a bid to discourage their use.

Given that older vehicles are heavy air polluters, the government said it would impose an environment tax on all private vehicles that are 15 years and above old and commercial vehicles plying for more than eight years.

Newspaper reports quoted state transport secretary C S Sangitrao as saying that the state government aims to phase out old vehicles plying on the roads and intends to stop collecting revenue through vehicle taxes on such vehicles.

According to official statistics, there are around 15.5 million registered vehicles in the state, of which around 25 per cent are more than 15 years old. The levy is expected to take effect from the latter part of the year after the state legislature ratifies amendment to the Motor Vehicles Tax (1958).

According to Sangitrao, cabinet approval would be taken if the transport department has plans to introduce an ordinance.

The environment tax will hit commercial vehicle owners harder since they are expected to pay the tax each year while private vehicle owners are required to pay every five years.