IndiaTech.org calls for “ONE BHARAT, ONE ROAD TAX” regime

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New Delhi : IndiaTech.org (TSIA) today released a white paper recommending a move towards a ONE BHARAT, ONE ROAD TAX model across the country. According to the white paper, a uniform road taxation regime will bring about a unified framework, making the public understand and comply with simplified road tax regulations irrespective of where they are living in the country. It has the potential to alleviate citizens of cumbersome compliances, open avenues for businesses to efficiently trade used vehicles, and ensure that the government’s efforts to digitally transform the nation bear fruit.

“A transition to ONE BHARAT, ONE ROAD TAX regime will not only benefit consumers, car manufacturers, dealers, and preowned car start-ups, but the government and the country. It will disincentivize tax evasion, remove barriers in the used vehicle industry, and make inter-state sales of pre-owned vehicles easier with consumers not having to suffer the process of onerous compliances”, says Rameesh Kailasam, CEO and President, IndiaTech.org.

According to Dhiraj Gyani, Senior Director, Policy & Operations, IndiaTech.org, says, “Presently, each state follows its own formula for arriving at road tax, leading to varied prices of the same model of vehicle in different states. The rate of road tax varies from 2% to 18% of the cost of the vehicle in different states. Simply put, on-road prices turn out to be strikingly different from state to state for the same model, so it is fairly common to have buyers purchasing cars in another state, rather than their state of domicile or residence, due to lower road tax in those states.”

The White Paper makes a number of recommendations on reforms needed for ease of owning and disposing of vehicles. It calls for the formation of a national digital RTOs’ dashboard, standardization and digitization of Registration Certificates (RCs) and achieving 100% digitization in the area of challans to improve revenue collection and accountability.

The White Paper also makes a series of recommendations aimed at removing bottlenecks faced by the used vehicles market, including start-ups engaged in the sale of pre-owned vehicles. These include an overhaul of the cumbersome Inter-State Vehicle Registration process that currently involves physical verification and physical filing. The paper proposes a simpler format akin to first sales of cars and ‘vehicle evaluation’ by the pre-owned vehicle dealer

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IndiaTech.org also recommends that controlled access to the VAHAN national vehicle registry database created by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways be given to licensed used car dealers (UCDs), insurance companies, scrap dealers, and automotive workshop organizers.

The White Paper points out that having a comprehensive central database for pre-owned vehicles would help in verifying the hypothecation details when a vehicle is being sold so that buyers are aware of any pre-existing hypothecation or other charges. Further, the paper says that including blacklisted vehicles on the VAHAN portal database and providing national-level guidelines for the process of whitelisting such vehicles would further ease the owning and disposing of vehicles.

The white paper also advocates that Form 29C is amended to include the transfer of deemed ownership from one registered used car dealer to another registered dealer since a common practice in the industry is the transfer of vehicles from one dealer to another.

Further, the paper advocates that Form 29A (application for grant or renewal of authorisation certificate for sale of registered vehicle) should provide an option for dealers to either enter their GST registration number or declare that they are exempt from GST in order to account for used car dealers whose turnover is much below the prescribed GST threshold.

IndiaTech.org also argues for Centralized Registration for Used Car Dealers (UCDs) instead of the current law where authorization of dealers of registered vehicles can be made only to the registering authority under whose jurisdiction they have their business.

The white paper can be accessed here.

About IndiaTech.org : IndiaTech.Org (TSIA) is a not-for-profit organization with an objective of building the world’s largest and the most successful internet commerce ecosystem in India. The organization serves as a collaborative platform for Indian consumer internet start-ups, unicorns and their investors to support positive business, conducive policy and regulations.

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