Madurai RTO (North) alone earns Rs 1.13 crore from 1,938 vehicles
The craze for fancy numbers for vehicles – of different types – has been fetching sizable revenue for the State government, according to officials in the Transport Department.
At the end of every series (for instance: TN 59 AT followed by the numeric), the unallotted government numbers such as “0055” “0666” “2121” “2345” “6000” “3030” et al, are issued to the public/motorists seeking them at a prescribed fee.
The fee to be remitted for the above numbers depended on the invoice price of the vehicles, said RTO (North) N. Ravichandran. For instance, for each two-wheeler, the fee collected for issuance of a fancy number is Rs. 2000, while for four-wheelers the fee ranged from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 16,000 each and even more.
In the recently concluded – TN 59 AU series – the officials said that they realised a net earnings of Rs. 4.76 lakh from the sale of un-allotted fancy numbers to applicants. Out of the 52 applications received, 25 two-wheelers and 27 four-wheelers remitted the sum for whom, the new numbers were allotted.
Another Transport Department official said that motorists interested in getting fancy numbers well in advance (at least one series ahead and so on) may have to remit higher fee for which the number is allotted from the Transport Ministry at Chennai. Explaining it, he said that in the event of booking a number ahead of the current series, the aspirant have to remit a higher fee for blocking a number well ahead.
While a majority of such applicants chose fancy numbers as they believed in numerology, many others applied for the fancy numbers just for an identity. For some others, it is a status symbol in the society as they are known by the number reflected on the vehicle, the official said.
Asked for his comment, R. Rajasekar, a businessman in Madurai said that a specific number in every series as the registration for all his vehicles had been a sign of ‘good luck' and prosperity. “I spend Rs. 10 lakh or more on my four-wheeler…Paying an additional Rs. 30000 or Rs. 40000 for the fancy number from the government would not be burden,” he added.
However, consultants engaged in re-sale of second hand vehicles in the market said that fancy numbers had a special attraction among the buyers. “The seller demands extra money for the number and the buyer would not mind coughing it up,” S. Chandrasekar in Arasaradi, who deals in buying/ selling of two-wheelers and four-wheelers, said.
Be it for an identity or belief in securing unique registration numbers, the revenue earned from such fancy numbers in Madurai RTO (North) alone accounted for Rs. 1.13 crore from 1,938 vehicles between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. The total revenue earned during the just concluded fiscal in RTO (North) stood at Rs. 44.33 crore which included collection of taxes, imposition of fines, sale of fancy numbers etc., an official said.