Interstate tax by Telangana State creates crisis

HYDERABAD: The TRS Government seemed to have stirred the hornets nest by its decision to levy Motor Vehicles Tax from midnight today (April 1) on commercial vehicles entering Telangana State from the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh.

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  • AP buses to stop plying
  • MP Kesineni Nani files petition in HC

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The inter-state vehicle tax is bound to trigger off yet another row between the two Telugu States which are already at loggerheads on various issues like sharing of Krishna river waters, power etc. The AP Transport Minister Sidda Raghava Rao has already appealed to his Telangana counterpart to reconsider the decision as it is bound to escalate prices of essential commodities besides forcing a hike in passenger fares.

According to rough estimates nearly 80 percent of the transport vehicles, both passenger as well as goods carriers, are likely to be adversely affected by the levy of the inter-state vehicle tax and force these services to withdraw which in turn would derail the transport services  coming from the AP State.

Already private transport operators have announced withdrawal of 800 passenger buses and travel reservations have also come to a standstill. The private transport operators are also planning to move the High Court tomorrow on the plea that the decision of the Telangana Government was unconstitutional as Hyderabad is the joint capital of the two states for ten years and hence forcing to pay motor vehicle tax for coming from AP State is illegal and it is in violation of the State Reorganization Act.

During summer season citizens crave for the soothing coconut water to beat the heat.  As a matter of fact hundreds of truckloads of coconuts are brought to the city as well as many towns and villages in Telangana State. With the new policy of the TS Government to impose the motor vehicle tax on these trucks, the prices of coconuts as well as coconut water are bound to shoot up. Prices of fruits like mangoes, bananas etc besides prices of other essential commodities for day to day use like onions, pulses besides that of certain vegetables are also expected to skyrocket shortly.

The holiday season for the children and students are not likely to be pleasant and cheerful this time what with the transport fares likely to shoot up. Though the AP Government is not planning to introduce the inter-state motor vehicle tax, the state would be forced to follow suit one day or other. The people in both the states are already seething with rage over their respective government’s moves which would make cost of living unbearable.

Over 80 percent of Andhra Pradesh Private Travels Association members on Tuesday took a decision to stop running buses from various parts of Andhra Pradesh State to Hyderabad, the common capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States.

Keeping the Telangana State Government’s decision in view, Andhra Pradesh Private Travels’ managements have convened a meeting and decided to stop their vehicles from mid-night of Tuesday-Wednesday. The managements have also stopped reservations in the buses and expressed their protest against Telangana State Government’s decision.

On the other hand, Kesineni Travels owner and Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani filed a petition in the High Court on Tuesday challenging the Telangana State Government’s decision that the latter will collect travel tax from the vehicles from Andhra Pradesh State, on the ground that Hyderabad is common Capital for 10 years. He also made it clear that the Kesineni Travels buses will run as usual even after the Telangana State G.O. comes into effect from Tuesday midnight and the reservation facility also available for the commuters. (NSS)

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