India implements unified National Permit for commercial goods vehicles
April 19, 2010

India's Unified National Permit Enhances Commercial Transport
Transporting goods across Indian state lines will now be much easier with a unified national permit effective from May 1, 2010. In creating a seamless pan-India market, the new permit aims to give a further impetus to the goods and services tax or GST which will be implemented next fiscal year.

According to the new regulation each commercial goods carrying vehicle will need to register for the national permit at the Regional Transport Office (RTO), he will then need to pay the national permit fee of Rs. 15,000 per truck per annum to the State Road Transport Undertaking, a non-government organisation at the center. Each state will receive its share of revenue based on the average of the last three years’ collection. The national permit is expected to save costs, operation hurdles and time for both commercial vehicles and the state.

Earlier, each truck had to pay Rs 20,000 annually per truck. The fee  allowed it access to its home state, where it was registered and three neighboring states. For each additional state, the transporter had to pay Rs 5,000.

Transporters are now expected to save up to Rs 10,000 annually per truck. Furthermore, truckers will no longer need to obtain separate permits from various states and bottlenecks in operations will now be minimised.

Consumers, in this case business owners and traders who need to transport their goods inter-state or to ports for export will however not be too affected by the new unified national permit as the permit fee contributes less than 2 percent of the total operating cost.

Kamal Nath, India’s road transport minister, who made sure the new unified permit saw light of day has said that the national permit model will be tested for the first six months or until November, amendments will then be tailored according to requirements. The total revenue contribution from state permits to goods carriers is estimated to be around Rs 932 crore annually.

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