State to exempt MV tax, permit fees on buses to LWE areas

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to ensure better road transport facilities to Scheduled and Backward Areas in the Left Wing Extremist (LWE) hit areas of the state, the Odisha Government on Monday decided to exempt motor vehicle tax and permit fees on operators.
This was decided at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
"Under the Scheme for Rural Transport Connectivity, entrepreneurs, Self Help Group (SHG), Government and Private operators will be provided upto 5 per cent exemption on interest to purchase small passenger carriers", said Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra.
The incentives for operating light and medium commercial passenger vehicles having seating capacity of 10-26 seats included interest rate subvention at 3 per cent will be provided to the entrepreneurs for procurement of passenger carriage vehicles and additional subsidy at 2 per cent will also be provided for timely repayment of the loan, he said.
"Road tax and permit fees shall be exempted," he said adding that routes to be serviced under this scheme will be identified by a Block Level Committee under the chairmanship of Sub-Collector. These routes will be advertised in the local news papers seeking participation of the entrepreneurs.
The operator will be selected by the Block Level Committee giving due preference to the applicants belonging to the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes. The Block Level Committee will also recommend fare structure to be adopted for these routes in order to ensure commercial viability.
This scheme would entail annual recurring expenditure of Rs 4.25 crore towards interest subvention and exemption of permit fees/road tax of Rs 1.42 crore, Mohapatra said.
The cabinet also approved the proposal to provide financial support to the state owned Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) to procure 100 small buses to be deployed in the selected routes of LWE affected areas, he said.
Road tax, insurance and permit fees for plying these 100 buses will also be reimbursed by the State Government for a period of 4 years. Total financial assistance to the OSRTC for the purpose will be around Rs 21 crore, the chief secretary said.