To bring vehicular pollution under control, the state government has made 'green tax' mandatory for all motor vehicles in Uttar Pradesh. All vehicles over 15 years old will have to pay green tax soon, officials said.
The UP cabinet has given a go ahead to the amendment in the UP Motor Vehicles Act and it has been decided that all vehicles that have completed 15 years from the manufacturing date will be registered again and 'green tax' would be levied on them at that time. Non-transport or private vehicles will have to pay 10% of the due tax at the time of renewal of registration as green tax. The modalities of the 'green tax' would be announced soon.
The number of vehicles registered in Noida annually has seen a three-fold jump between 2004 and 2012. The introduction of 'green tax' on vehicles in UP will address only one aspect of environmental pollution, said experts, adding that the tax structure puts more burden on public transport vehicles than owners of cars and private vehicles.
"If a vehicle was registered in 1999, in 2014 it will pay 10% of its due tax as green tax," said sources in the transport department. There might be around 4.5 lakh such vehicles, said sources in the department.
According to experts, the green tax structure ensures puts more burden on public transport vehicles whereas cars and private vehicles remain largely unaffected. "The move will affect public transportation in the city. Private vehicles will remain unaffected because very few numbers outlive 15 years after their manufacture," said Anumita Roychowdhury of the Centre for Science and Environment.
A rationalization in the tax structure is required where age of vehicles is not the only criteria but sustainability of technology is also taken into account. A clear structure on imposition of taxes on older vehicles is needed so that those with older and obsolete emission technologies are taxed more.
In order to put comprehensive restrictions on vehicular pollution, the tax structure needs to be uniform across states bordering Noida, said Noida transport officials. "There is no count of vehicles entering Noida from the neighboring states every day. Green tax needs to be uniform across the states," said a transport department official.