BENGALURU: The Union ministry of road transport and highways (MORTH) last month announced the Bharat series (BH-series), a registration mark for new vehicles. This is to facilitate the seamless transfer of vehicles for owners moving from one state to another. But Karnataka government is yet to initiate BHseries registration, fearing it may lose out on revenue.
Additional commissioner for transport (administration) BP Umashankar, told TOI: “We are studying the financial implications due to the registration of BH-series. We will start issuing BH-series registration once we get the nod from the state government. There is already a revenue shortfall due to Covid-19.”
Odisha, for instance, has already started the BH series in the state. Odisha State Transport Authority is issuing BH series registration online and also e-payment for fees and taxes. BH-series is also considered the preliminary step toward the Centre’s ‘one nation, one motor vehicle tax plan.
Waseem Memon of Drive Without Borders, an NGO, which has been campaigning for ‘one nation, one road tax’, said: “Karnataka should put national interest over financial matters. If they have an issue with BH-series registration, they should approach the Union government. It’s unfair that implementation is being delayed despite BJP being in power both at the Centre and in the state. There is no clarity on BH-series registration as there is no information on the transport department website.”
“BH series registration has not yet started. RTO authorities are saying they might start soon,” said MP Shyam, president, the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (Karnataka chapter).
According to Motor Vehicle Rules, a vehicle is not permitted to ply with another state registration number beyond 11 months from the date of migration. Otherwise, vehicle owners will have to re-register it from the parent state to a new state. However, it is a cumbersome process.
On August 26, MORTH issued a notification on BH-services, which came into effect on September 15 and is applicable to defense personnel, employees of central government/state government/central/ state public sector undertakings, and private sector companies/organizations, which have their offices in four or more states/ Union Territories. Under this scheme, MV tax will be levied for two years or in multiples of two instead of the present one-time lifetime regime (15 years). After 14 years, the tax will be levied annually, which will be half the amount that was levied earlier for that vehicle.
This is mainly to help those who have transferable jobs to move from one state to another without any registration hassles.