Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said today that India would do away with toll booths and implement a complete GPS-based toll collection mechanism within one year. During the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Gadkari said 93% of the vehicles pay toll using FASTag, but the remaining 7% have still not taken it despite paying a double toll.
Gadkari said, “I want to assure the House that within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. It means that toll collection will happen via GPS. The money will be collected based on GPS imaging (on vehicles).”
Making the tags compulsory would also help in ensuring that vehicles pass seamlessly through the toll plazas, as the fee payment would be done electronically.
The union minister said that new vehicles have FasTags fitted in them, while the government has said it will give free FASTags for old vehicles.
Apart from a new toll collection mechanism, there will be a new way to dispose of old vehicles
Announcing the much-awaited vehicle scrappage policy in the Lok Sabha and stating it to be a win-win policy for disposing of old vehicles, the transport minister said that recycling will reduce cost of components for the automobile industry.
States can alternatively offer a discount on registration and road tax for buying new vehicles against the scrapped one, the minister said.
A vehicle failing the fitness test or failing to get a renewal of its registration certificate may be declared as ‘end of life vehicle’.
“The policy is aimed at reducing the population of old and defective vehicles, bringing down vehicular air pollutants, improving road and vehicular safety,” Gadkari said.
“Besides, it will help in achieving better fuel efficiency, formalising the informal vehicle scrapping industry, and boost the availability of low-cost raw materials for the automotive, steel and electronics industry,” he added.
Gadkari also emphasised that work is underway to introduce schemes that will make India the world’s largest automobile hub in the next 5 years.
On implementation of FASTag, the minister informed that the existing toll collection system will be scrapped in a year and FASTag will be implemented completely.
New vehicle scrappage policy
- Customers will get scrap value for the old vehicle by the scrapping centre, which is approximately 4-6% of the ex-showroom price of a new vehicle
- The state governments may be advised to offer a road tax rebate of up to 25% for personal vehicles and up to 15% for commercial vehicles
- The vehicle manufacturers have been advised for providing a discount of 5% on the purchase of a new vehicle against the scrapping certificate
- In addition, the registration fees may also be waived for the purchase of a new vehicle against the scrapping certificate
- Increase in RC and fitness certificate renewal fee for personal and commercial vehicles respectively; additional penalty for delay in renewal of certificates
- An additional levy of green tax on old vehicles by states
- Mandatory automated fitness test; those failing in test to be deregistered automatically
- An incentive for buying new vehicles against scrapped ones: States can offer a discount on road tax while vehicle manufacturers can give a 5% discount for new vehicles bought against scrapped ones
- Vehicle owners may get higher value for scrapping old ones
- The vehicle owner will be free to take the old vehicle for scrapping to any centre in the country, irrespective of the place of registration
- Scrapping centres will keep records, verify ownership of vehicles to be scrapped by using the VAHAN database
- Scrapping centres are not allowed to scrap stolen vehicles
- Vehicles that would be automatically scrapped are a) 15 year plus government & PSU-owned vehicles; b) those damaged in a fire, riots or any devastation; c) declared as defective by manufacturers; and e) those confiscated by enforcement agencies.
Tentative timeline for application
- Rules for fitness tests and scrapping centres will come into effect from 1 October 2021
- Scrapping of government and PSU vehicles above 15 years of age to be undertaken from 1 April 2022
- Mandatory fitness testing for heavy commercial vehicles to be in effect from 1 April 2023
- Mandatory fitness testing for other categories will come into effect in a phased manner from 1 June 2024
- The road transport and highway ministry will publish a draft notification for stakeholders’ comments in the next few weeks
Gadkari said that there were 51 lakh light motor vehicles that are older than 20 years and 34 lakh light motor vehicles that are older than 15 years.
Around 17 lakh medium and heavy commercial vehicles are older than 15 years without a valid fitness certificate, he said, adding that older vehicles pollute the environment 10 to 12 times more than fit vehicles.