Sunday, Jun 09, 2002
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By V.S. Palaniappan
According to lorry industry sources, entrepreneurs have invariably been buying multiaxle trucks from Karnataka or even from New Delhi and Nagaland. "This is because of the differences in taxes''.
They alleged that the disparity, which started with the sales tax, extended up to the compounding fee for overloading. The sales tax for multiaxle trucks was around 13 per cent in Tamil Nadu as against four per cent in other States.
To save more than 200 per cent in sales tax alone, many truck owners from Namakkal, Sankagiri, Salem and Thiruchengode are going to Karnataka and Nagaland for buying and registering their trucks.
Similarly, depending on the loading capacity, the quarterly road tax started from Rs 6,500 in Tamil Nadu. It was fixed at Rs 2,500 in Karnataka. Since the road tax should be paid every three months, the truck owners were averse to registering the vehicle in Tamil Nadu. They could save a huge amount every three months by registering the vehicle in other States.
The multiaxle vehicles with other State registrations also pay the lowest compounding fee for overloading, just Rs 100, while the overload fine for multiaxle trucks from Tamil Nadu was fixed at Rs 2500 per tonne. This too is a reason for Tamil Nadu truck owners going to other States.
After buying multiaxle trucks at a huge cost, normally the truck owners tried to recover the cost at the earliest and hence resorted to overloading, operators say.
Pointing out the disparity resulting in a huge loss, the secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause, K. Kathirmathiyon, has appealed to the State Government to rationalise the tax structure. The State could easily compensate the loss arising out of the reduction in tax, as the concessions would encourage more truck owners to register their vehicles in Tamil Nadu.
The president of the Coimbatore Lorry Owners Association, K.R. Arumugam, said the lorry owners had been pressing this demand for a long time.
He said the State Finance Minister, Home Secretary and Transport Commissioner had been appraised of the issue. They had promised to sort out the issue and the lorry industry from Coimbatore and Namakkal areas were waiting for favourable orders from the Government.
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