Hyderabad: Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, on 25 January approved a proposal to levy a Green Tax on old vehicles whose outdated apparatus is responsible for the release of harmful pollutants into the air. The proposal will now go to the states for consultation before it is formally notified. The policy will come into effect from 1 April 2022.
The minister said that this Green Tax will be levied on transport vehicles that are older than eight years at the time of their renewal of fitness certificate, at the rate of 10 per cent to 25 per cent of road tax.
Personal vehicles to be charged Green Tax at the time of renewal of their registration certification after 15 years. Public transport vehicles, such as city buses, to be charged lower Green Tax. Green Tax would be higher (50 per cent of road tax) for vehicles registered in highly polluted cities.
Vehicles like strong hybrids, electric vehicles and those that run on alternate fuels like CNG, ethanol, LPG and so on will be exempted. Vehicles used in farming, such as tractors, harvesters, tillers and so on will be exempted too.
The revenue collected from the Green Tax will be kept in a separate account that will be reserved for tackling pollution such as helping states set up state-of-art facilities for emission monitoring and so on. The government said that Green Tax will discourage people from using vehicles that damage the environment and motivate them to choose eco-friendly models.
The minister also approved the policy of deregistration and the scrapping of vehicles, above 25 years of age, owned by the government departments and PSUs.
It is estimated that commercial vehicles, which constitute about 5 per cent of the total vehicle fleet contribute to about 65 per cent to 70 per cent of total vehicular pollution. The older fleet, typically manufactured before the year 2000, constitute less than 1 per cent of the total fleet but contributes around 15 per cent of total vehicular pollution. These older vehicles pollute 10-25 times more than modern vehicles.