School bus travel to cost more in Chandigarh

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Travelling by school buses in the city is set to become costlier. After a gap of two years, the UT Transport Department has increased the special road tax (SRT) levied on school buses by up to seven times. The new taxes will applicable from September 22. The decision will have a direct bearing on the budget of parents who send their children to school by buses. “Against Rs 900 to Rs 1,000 charged as school bus fee, the parents may now have have shell out around Rs 100 more,” pointed out a school bus operator. Officials in the department said keeping in mind “the public convenience”, the new taxes had not been made applicable with immediate effect though the notification regarding the revised road taxes had been issued on September 9. Under the revised rates, the operator of a 52-seater school bus, who was earlier paying Rs 4,200 per annum, will now have to pay an yearly tax of around Rs 32,000 as it has now been fixed at Rs 600 per seat per annum for all types of buses having more than 13 seats. Besides the revision in the special road tax for school buses, the department has also increased the road tax applicable at the time of registration of new commercial vehicles. Against the system of charging Rs 100 per seat per annum, the road tax of taxis has been made one time and has been fixed at 6 per cent of the cost of the vehicle. Similarly, the tax on three-wheelers has been increased from the yearly Rs 534 to a one-time fixed payment of 6 per cent of the cost of the vehicle. The tax for other category of commercial vehicles has also been revised.