New Delhi: Buying diesel cars is going to get costlier as Delhi government has proposed a 25% increase in tax at the time of vehicle registration. The move, aimed at curbing the growing number of diesel-run vehicles in the city will also boost revenue. The focus on environment-related issues is evident in this year’s budget, as exempted tax on the purchase of bicycles (costing up to Rs 3500) and other ecofriendly products. CM Shelia Dikshit also reiterated her plans to clean the Yamuna.
Environmentalists say that this will send a strong message and discourage people from using diesel-run vehicles. “This is going to neutralize the incentive diesel car owners enjoy because of cheaper diesel prices. There was an urgent need to actively discourage the use of diesel cars as it is gross misuse of the subsidy provided on diesel,’’ said Anumita Roychoudhury, executive director and head of air pollution team at Centre for Science and Environment .
In Delhi, nearly 1000-1200 cars are registered every day of which nearly 30-40% are diesel-run cars. In the past few years, there has been a shift towards bigger cars. And experts attribute this shift is due to the introduction of dieselrun cars. Once approved in the assembly, the proposal will come into force from April 1. “The subsidy on diesel is there because it is used for agricultural purpose. But the growing number of diesel-run cars clearly indicates that it is being misused by big car owners,’’ said Professor Mihir Deb, director, School of Environment Studies, DU.
Environmentalists are happy that Delhi government has taken such a bold step to bring down air pollution level. Government also removed VAT from cycles, lanterns, petromax and kerosene-stoves.
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– Team TOI. Relayed by Pallavi Pant