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The Government of West Bengal has announced that it has written off penalties on taxes due by owners of transport and commercial vehicles. However, the Government has not waived off penalties for non air-conditioned private buses.
The State Government also announced an extension of validity for motor related documents such as fitness certificates, state and national cargo permits, and drivers licenses until 31 of July.
In its notification under Section 11 of West Bengal Motor Vehicles Tax Act 1979, and Section 23A West Bengal Additional Tax and Motor Vehicles Act 1989, the State Transport Department has exempted vehicles that are registered in the State of West Bengal from paying any penalty on tax, and additional tax for the period starting 1 July. Taxes however, need to be paid before 30 September.
Private bus operators are rather unhappy about the decision, and say they expected a full waiver on taxes considering how businesses were hit, and losses were incurred during the lockdown period.
Mr Tapan Bandyopadhyay,the Secretary of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicates said, "We are already in a hand-to-mouth existence. Our earnings have been so low that we have defaulted on EMIs for loans. We expect the government to exempt us from tax completely."
The Transport Department however, says that they have been empathetic and have announced a relief package for operators of private bus fleets.
Daily operations have been hit with new rules and regulations allowing for a limited number of passengers on board in order to effectively maintain social distancing practices. In addition, private operators say that the increasing fuel prices in the country have added to their woes.
The State Government Of West Bengal had offered a 100 waiver on any penalties for taxes due, of any kind and accrued by any vehicle, as long as the taxes were paid within a stipulated time.
The State Transport Department also waived off 50 percent of any compounding amount towards motor vehicle offences irrespective of the day and date when it was committed, as long as it was paid by the said deadline. The State Government said that it also extended dates for expired fitness certificates from 29 February until 31 July.
Thoughts About The Government Of West Bengal Waiving Off Penalties On Taxes Dues From Commercial And Transport Vehicles
This move must bring a lot of relief for owners of transport vehicles and commercial vehicles who have been facing a tough time since the Covid-19 outbreak. We hope the Government resolves what stress owners of private buses are going through soon.