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The Government of Tamil Nadu has notified the Madras High Court that an exemption of road tax for commercial vehicles for the lockdown period will cost the State Rs 1,724.43 crore, essentially making it clear the proposed relief measure cannot be taken into consideration.
A spokesperson for the Government of Tamil Nadu said, "Since the movement of goods transport vehicles was not banned even by the state or the central government, the question of granting exemption from payment of road tax for April to September could not arise. Lockdown period has not affected free flow of goods."
The Government's response comes after the Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation made a plea seeking road tax exemptions for commercial vehicles for the lockdown period.
The Federation contented that its members suffered losses during the lockdown, however the Government has said that allowed for free movement of essential commodities, and provided protection for it as well.
In addition, the Government added that it followed directives of the Central Government and allowed for an extension of validity of registration certificates, pollution under control certificates, insurance certificates, permits, fitness certificates, other documents, and an extension for drivers licenses until 30 June as a result of the lockdown.
The Government of Tamil Nadu also said that it had extended a grace period for payments towards road tax until 30 June. In light of this, the Government's argument is that the Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation's request is not justified, and will burden the State's revenues and finances.
Thoughts About The Government Of Tamil Nadu Not Considering Road Tax Exemptions For Commercial Vehicles During The Lockdown Period
Bit of a catch-22 situation, isn't it? The Government has extended support by means of extending validity of vehicle and road related documents, but it seems to have forgotten that not all commercial vehicles ferry essential goods. While all the essential goods made their way across the state, other commercial vehicles used to transport other commodities like construction material, raw material, metal, wood, glass, vehicles, etc., were all grounded. We think the Federation and the Government need to find a solution that works for everyone. Chances of that happening however, are rather slim.