New Delhi: After a disappointing year in terms of government policies, it’s been raining good news for vehicle owners in the country over the weekend, especially if you hail from Gujarat. While fuel prices were slashed across the country, it was also announced that cars and small vehicles will be exempted from paying toll tax in the state beginning August 15.
In what is being regarded as a politically motivated move ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls in Gujarat, the state’s chief minister Anandiben Patel tweeted, “Happy to announce that from 15 August, cars and small vehicles will be exempted from paying toll tax in Gujarat.”
Also, addressing a plantation drive in Nanapondha village of Valsad district, Patel said, “When our brothers, sisters from the middle class go out in their cars for work, they have to shell out Rs 100-150 at toll booths. We have decided to exempt them from paying toll tax…bigger vehicles will still have to pay it.”
This exemption, however, is restricted only to private vehicles as taxis and other commercial vehicles will be bound by the same toll tax regulations. The revenue loss at toll booths will be borne by the state in order to facilitate the commuters.
There are around 50 toll booths in the state. According to government officials, the initial estimate of loss in revenue was between Rs 80 crore and Rs 100 crore. But due to the inclusion of national highways under this ambit, the figure will rise up to Rs 250 crore per annum.
Gujarat is home to 31 state highways with a total length of 19,761 km, while 12 national highways passing through the state cover 4,032 km. The officials, however, were not able to clarify as to how they plan to make up for the loss.