The state transport department plans to increase motor vehicle tax by a maximum 200% for any family buying a second car in Mumbai, sources told TOI on Saturday. The objective is to curb the city's increasing vehicular population - which has seen an annual 10% growth in the past few years.
There are plans to increase the motor vehicle tax by 150-200% for those who wish to buy a second car, said an official requesting anonymity. "So, if you have paid an average 10-13% tax on your existing car, you will have to pay a maximum 39% tax for buying another one in the near future," he stated. Department sources said the proposal for increasing motor vehicle tax for a second car will be forwarded to the chief minister's office next week. They added that the proposal may require car buyers to declare the number of vehicles owned by them or registered at their address. The official said, "Several citizens own two to three cars, which is congesting Mumbai's roads. So we want to create a deterrent by hiking taxes."
For cars such as BMWs and Audis, where the motor vehicle tax is in the high range of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh, any hike in tax could be a steep one. "If people have to pay Rs 21 lakh as vehicle tax, maybe they will have second thoughts about buying another car," said a RTO official. Transport officials said data suggests at least 15% motorists in the city have two or more cars in the family.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, speaking at the Road Safety Fortnight recently, said he too favoured curbing the city's car population. "As salaries grow and car loans become convenient, there is a rise in the number of new cars on city roads. In fact, by the time someone gets their first job, their priority is to get a car to commute in Mumbai. I think we need to set a limit as the road length remains the same over the years," he had said. He said the huge number of cars on roads also led to parking problems, pollution and traffic snarls. "Stricter laws are essential, such as the one in Singapore, where one can buy a new car only after scrapping the old one," he suggested.
The transport department has made more proposals, including hiking parking charges across the state and levying a special cess on diesel and petrol cars. "Such measures will deter citizens from buying new cars or bringing them on the roads daily," an official said.
Transport experts feared that the present population of cars in the city may cross the one million mark in just a couple of years if there is no check on sales. The total vehicular population in Mumbai, including two-wheelers, trucks and buses, has already touched 22 lakh, from just 14 lakh in 2006. There has been an average growth of 7% in the total number of vehicles in Mumbai in the last seven years and at least 300 to 350 new vehicles hit the roads daily. Mumbai Government plans to impose 200% road tax hike for buying second car