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The Central Government has postponed the mandatory execution of FASTags to 15 December. The government has announced earlier that the deadline was 1 December. According to Livemint, the government also said that it would double the user fee for all vehicles entering FASTag lanes without the tags starting 15 December this year.
A FASTag is an electronic sticker that allows for vehicles to pass through tollgates without having to halt to pay toll fees. Tollgates are equipped with tag readers that allow for fees to be automatically deducted from an amount that is pre-loaded on to the tag.
The (NHAI) National Highways Authority of India said that they were moving the deadline from 1 December to 15 December to give citizen more time to get FASTags installed on their vehicles.
Over 70 lakh FASTags have been issued so far, allowing for a 300 percent increase since the government announced that it was mandatory. The government had also announced a waiver for tag fees from 21 November.
In a bid to increase digital payments, and to bring more transparency, the government declared all lanes (at tollgates) across all National Highways as FASTag lanes. However, they have decided to keep one lane (in each direction) as a Hybrid lane that will accept FASTag and cash payments as well.
The Government said, earlier this week, that the average daily transactions via FASTags have grown from 8.8 lakh to about 11.2 lakh in three months. The average daily collect has also increased from Rs 11.20 crore to 19.50 crore within the same period.
The government has also recruited banks where one can buy a FASTag in addition to calling ‘1033' for any assistance. They have also opened multiple methods of payments and users can recharge FASTags via debit and credit cards, net banking, and or the UPI way.
Thoughts About The Extended Deadline For FASTags
While a lot of people must be thankful for the extended deadline to get FASTags, we think the government should have stuck to the 1 December deadline. They would have achieved two things that way - one is more money to use to fix the lengths of broken roads in cities and on highways, and the other is that they would have got everyone to achieve acquiring FASTags by 7 December.