HC directs Telangana State to suspend entry tax
HYDERABAD: Telangana Government was directed by the High Court through an interim order today not to collect the inter-State Motor Vehicle Tax for one week from commercial vehicles entering the State from the neighboring Andhra Pradesh State.
It may be mentioned here that the TRS Government has issued a GO which came into operation from Tuesday midnight by which all commercial vehicles entering Telangana State would have to pay motor vehicle tax. Taken aback by the TRS Government’s move, the private transport operators of Andhra Pradesh knocked the doors of the High Court pleading for intervention and to direct the Telangana government to withdraw its order as a heavy financial burden would fall on them besides affecting regular travelling public and also lead to increase in prices of essential commodities.
The High Court passed an interim order after perusing the petitions and hearing arguments of the petitioners and thus gave a breather to the private transporters. By its order, the High Court gave relief only to the petitioners as the order was applicable only to those who have filed the petitions. However, others are bound to pay the entry tax. The court posted the case for further hearing to April 7.
Earlier in the morning, the private transport operators moved the High Court questioning the validity of the Telangana Government’s decision to levy inter-State vehicle tax on commercial vehicles entering Telangana State from Andhra Pradesh State. As many as three separate petitions, including one lunch motion petition by the Private Operators Association was filed in the High Court pleading for immediate quashing of the GO in this regard and which came into force with effect from today.
The petitioners pleaded with the Court that the levy of the inter-State motor vehicles tax for entering the Telangana State would impose a big financial burden on them besides causing a lot of hardships to regular passengers and traveling public. The levy of the entry tax, which was bound to increase in prices of essential commodities would also adversely affect the lives of the commoners, they contended and sought intervention of the court to make the Telangana government withdraw the GO.
Meanwhile, the lorry and truck owners too are contemplating to move the court in this regard.
The Telangana Government has made it amply clear that private buses coming from AP into Telangana should pay in advance three months permit tax and that only then the vehicles would be allowed to enter the State. Consequent to strict instructions from the Telangana Government, the transport and police authorities stepped up their vigil at Garikapadu, Gampalagudem and Tirupur check-posts bordering the AP State.
It may be mentioned here that the total strength of lorries in the 13 districts of AP is to the tune of 32 lakhs and that of private buses is over 800 and a majority of these vehicles travel to and from between the two States. From Vijayawada alone, as many as 300 private buses operate to Hyderabad every day.
Rs 90 lakh entry tax collected
Levy of entry tax on commercial vehicles entering into Telangana State from AP coming into force from midnight, the authorities at three check-posts in Nalgonda district at Vadapally, Kodad and Nagarjunasagar had already collected Rs 50 lakhs as entry tax. Besides, Rs 40 lakh tax was collected at the Alampur check-post in Mahbubnagar district.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Mahender Reddy reiterated that the Telangana Government’s decision to levy motor vehicle tax on commercial vehicles entering the State from AP was as per law only. Already the Telangana State had lost Rs 40 crores and still the government had not acted till now to comply with the orders of the court, he explained while interacting with the media. (NSS).