The Maharashtra government has decided to levy an extra two percent tax on the registration of new cars/SUVs from October 24 as a part of a ‘road safety fund.’ It claims that this will help improve road safety measures and prevent accidents.
"The government has defined various categories under which we will levy this cess. It will be collected with the objective of raising a fund that can be used for road safety measures and to prevent fatalities,'' said state transport commissioner Praveen Gedam.
Speaking of the different categories, light motor goods vehicles will have to pay a four per cent cess of the road tax while medium and heavy goods vehicles will have to shell out either 2 percent of the one-time tax or 10 percent of the annual road tax.
As mentioned earlier, new cars and SUVs will be charged an extra two percent cess, but taxis and rickshaws will have to pay no less than five percent of the road tax as a part of this new diktat. The government plans to raise up to Rs 150 crore through this new cess by March 2017.
An average of 64,000 mishaps have taken place in the state annually over the past half-decade, leaving 13,000 people dead and 40,000 disabled. Statistics also indicate that there are around 90,000 accident prone spots across Maharashtra.
Officials claim that the proposed road safety cess could not only help in the procurement of more CCTV cameras and advanced surveillance systems such as drones to keep watch on the roads, but it will also help in creation of several speed-breakers and equipping the enforcement and authorities with more speed guns.
The proposed fund could also be allocated for emergency medical facilities during the golden hour. This will include having ambulances which are well equipped with medical first aid and para-medical staff, and can rush victims to hospital at the earliest.