gst: Karnataka yet to get rid of RTO checkposts | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Despite the Centre’s order, Karnataka’s transport department is yet to remove its checkposts at the state’s borders even after four years of the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The Union ministry of road transport and highways (MORTH) has recently sought the status report from the state regarding removal of transport checkposts at state borders. Though the Karnataka government maintains that all commercial tax checkposts have been removed after the GST regime, 15 RTO checkposts are still operational for physical verification of vehicle documents.
Many truckers allege massive corruption as well as traffic congestion at checkposts, resulting in slower freight and passenger movement. “RTO checkposts defeat the purpose of the GST regime. E-bill under GST regime was expected to ensure seamless movement of trucks. Why is the state government not implementing the Centre’s decision to remove checkposts?” asked a truck owner.
A transport department official said they are mainly checking road tax and permit violations and overloading at these checkposts. “It’s a policy decision of the state to remove these checkposts. The transport minister will take a call. Overloaded goods vehicles violating permit conditions also lead to air pollution and road accidents. How will we take action against illegal commercial vehicles avoiding permit fees and road tax? Some are also transporting illegal goods,” said an official.
B Channa Reddy of the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners Association said: “These RTO checkposts are nothing but collection points. Officials and politicians don’t want to abolish these checkposts since their ‘monthly collection’ will be affected. They want more violations so they can collect more bribes. If enforcement was stringent over the years, why are the violations not coming down? For every truck, they collect Rs 100 to Rs 5,000 based on violations. If we don’t pay, then they will ask us to go to court so most truckers will pay.”
Additional commissioner for transport (enforcement) L Narendra Holkar said: “We have not taken any decision on removing checkposts. It was just an advisory from MORTH and not a direction. The state will take a decision on this. We are not collecting any tax but focusing on enforcement under Motor Vehicle Rules.”

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Sagar Biswas

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