New rule may be a boon for inter-state passengers | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The All-India Tourist Permit Rules coming into effect from April 1 are expected to benefit inter-state passengers. At present, several states, including Karnataka, collect higher permit fees, yearly or per seat, from tourist buses that come from other states.
However, tourist passenger vehicles will have to pay only one-time annual fee for seamless travel across the country from April 1. This is expected to attract operators to run buses and taxis on inter-state routes which may increase competition and reduce fares. However, some operators decided to slash fares if diesel price comes down.
Manoj Padikkal, a member of Bus & Car Operators Confederation of India, said: “A private bus running on Kochi-Hyderabad route now has to pay permit fees to five states – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. But it needs to pay only one permit from April. But many bus operators may register in states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Puducherry where road tax is less and then obtain a permit. This will affect states like Karnataka.”
KT Rajashekar, managing director of SRS Travels, said: “We’ve been incurring loss due to diesel price hike and road tax in Karnataka remains the highest in the country. We’re not in a position to reduce fares for now.”
K Radhakrishna Holla, a member of Karnataka Tourism Society, said: “We’ve been demanding this for more than a decade. In south India, the peak tourist season is between September and February and many bus and taxi operators will be able to operate to any state.”
The All India Tourist Vehicles (Authorisation or Permit) Rules, 2021, by the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) is also expected to give a boost to the tourism sector. The yearly permit fee for an AC bus carrying more than 23 passengers is likely to be around Rs 3 lakh. It would be Rs 75,000 for AC mini-bus with 10-23 passengers.
“This will provide seamless movement to tourist passenger vehicles across the country. It will be a single-window scheme for operators, thereby facilitating them immensely,” said an official.

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Sagar Biswas

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