Punjab cabinet on Wednesday approved 100 per cent exemption from the Motor Vehicle tax for state stage carriage buses and buses of educational institutions including those of school and college till December 31, 2020, effective from March 23.
The decision has been taken to support the private transport operators amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The cabinet gave post-facto approval to the notification issued in June to exempt these vehicles from Motor Vehicle tax till May 19, 2020, and also okayed notification for the further extension from May 20 to December 31, 2020.
The cabinet, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, has also approved the extension of the Amnesty scheme, deferring payment of arrears of taxes, without interest and penalty, to March 31, 2021.
A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval to the notification dated June 1, 2020, reducing Motor Vehicle Tax of Stage Carriage Buses (Ordinary Buses) in Punjab from Rs. 2.80 to Rs. 2.69 (Per Kilometre, Per Vehicle, Per Day).
It further gave ex-post facto approval to another notification dated June 2, 2020, by which Motor Vehicle Tax exemption was given to Educational Institutions, Schools, College buses, Minibuses, Maxi Cab and Three Wheelers in Punjab from March 23, 2020, to May 19, 2020.
The exemption given to the above Stage Carriage buses and buses of Educational Institutions/Schools/College was expected to cost the state exchequer about Rs. 66.05 Crore.
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It may be recalled that during a meeting with Chief Minister on October 30, the private bus operators including stage carriage operators, Minibus and school bus operators had sought extension of Amnesty Scheme issued on June 1, 2020, as they could not avail the benefit due to Covid-19.
Under the Amnesty Scheme, the transporters were liable to pay tax on their vehicles from June 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, without any interest and penalty.
The transporters had also apprised the Chief Minister that fewer people are travelling nowadays due to the pandemic which led to huge financial losses as their buses were not plying on the roads to full capacity. Hence, it was decided in the meeting to grant 100 per cent tax exemption to all types of stage carriage buses and educational institutions (Schools and Colleges) buses from May 20, 2020, to December 31, 2020.