The State government will grant pension to transport workers in a month, if the Centre agrees to exempt provident fund from income-tax deductions, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru told the Assembly on Thursday.
Replying to the debate on demand for grants for his department, the Minister said the accumulation of provident fund had touched Rs. 1,200 crore and 30 per cent income tax was being deducted. “We wrote to the Union Finance Minister seeking exemption from income tax deductions. But our request was not accepted. Later, States such as Rajasthan and Delhi could get exemptions. We are once again writing to the Centre. If we get the exemption, workers will get pension in one month,” the Minister said.
Mr. Nehru said the government had decided to increase the lifetime tax for four wheelers, based on the suggestion made at the Pollution Control Board meeting held in Delhi.
At the meeting it was argued that increasing tax for private vehicles alone would control vehicle population which in turn would bring down the pollution level and accidents in six cities including Chennai.
He said the tax would be 10 per cent for four wheelers costing less than Rs. 10 lakh. Fifteen per cent tax will be levied on vehicles costing more than Rs. 10 lakh. The new tax system will come into effect from June 1, 2010 and it would be suitably applied to vehicles coming to Tamil Nadu for re-registration. The Minister said the government would soon issue an order for registration of rig-mounted vehicles and tractor-driven combine harvesters in regional transport offices. Now these vehicles can be registered only after getting clearance from the government, which is causing delay.
The government also increased the solatium released from the Chief Minister's Accident Relief Fund to victims of the road accidents and their family members. In the case of death, the amount has been increased to Rs 25,000 from Rs 10,000. For permanent disability the amount will be 10,000 instead of Rs 6,000. The amount given to permanent damage caused to eyes, hands and legs has been increased to Rs 7,000 from Rs. 4,000. For minor injuries it will be Rs.1,000 instead of Rs. 500.