Thiruvananthapuram

Rented caravans come under MVD scanner

Caravan, a self-contained camper or recreational vehicle, is not just a byword for luxury for actors, but often a huge relief from the dust and heat during shooting breaks, especially during the height of summer.

But, only top draw actors can afford to buy one while the second and third-rung actors have to fall back on rented caravans, which in their wake bring their own fair share of troubles. Recently, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) officials seized a Tamil Nadu-registered caravan, which was being used by an actor at a shooting location in Kochi for not paying the requisite tax. It was released only after payment of tax to the tune of around ₹25,000 coupled with fine.

Caravans attract a quarterly tax of ₹1,000 per sq.m in Kerala while a fine of ₹3,000 is charged if they fall in the category of light motor vehicles, ₹4,000 for medium and ₹5,000 for heavy vehicles.

Practically non-existent in Kerala

“Rented caravans are practically non-existent in Kerala and most of them are found registered either in Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra, which are home to cash-rich movie industries. Agents providing vehicles for film shootings register caravans in their names and then rent it out to locations here at a steep daily rent,” said an MVD official. In the case of the caravan seized, it was rented at around ₹5,000 a day. Such rented caravans come under the MVD scanner during field inspections since they are easy to identify at shooting locations. But not all operators try to evade tax and inform the MVD officials in advance before the deployment of caravans. “The operators of caravans registered in other States will have to pay the tax applicable here whether it is being used for a day or a month,” said the officer.

In fact, in theory, at least, privately registered caravans with white registration number plates are not supposed to be rented out. However, MVD officials adopt a liberal approach towards them once they paid the quarterly tax. Besides, it does not raise much hue and cry here since the service of renting caravans is not prevalent in the State and hence will not hamper the business prospects of operators here.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 8:48:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/rented-caravans-come-under-mvd-scanner/article23404106.ece

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