Transport Business Now Unviable, Say Punjab Bus Operators

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MOHALI – With the substantial rise in motor vehicles tax in the state, bus operators who earn their living by transporting staff of private firms are planning to switch to some other business.

In the latest revision of taxes, the annual tax on buses having 31 seats and above has been increased from Rs 90,000 to Rs 3 lakh, a whopping 233 per cent rise.

For buses up to 12 seats, the tax has been hiked from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, an increase of 100 per cent.

Similarly, tax on buses with 13 to 30 seats has been revised from Rs 75,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

Interestingly, the operators have to pay the revised tax from July as per the order issued on August 8.

“We come under the category of private service vehicles, running up to 50 km from the place of registration. Two years ago, the tax was Rs 45,000, which was hiked to Rs 90,000 on August 31, 2013. The latest hike has made our vocation unviable. We will be forced us to sell our vehicles,” said Jaswinder Singh, a private transporter.

Expressing similar sentiments, Manjit Singh, another transporter, said they would hold a protest by mounting black flags on their vehicles on August 21. “We will urge the government to roll back the hike, failing which we will intensify our protest,” he said.