Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New RTO to fee rates confuse officials


25 January 2017

PUNE : The spike in fees and fines of the processes at the Regional Transport Office (RTO), that were declared on December 29, 2016, caused a lot of stir among civilians. The initial reactions to the announcement of the manifold rise were unanimously negative and the circumstances have been no different when it comes to the implementation.

With RTOs themselves confused over revised rates for certain procedures, only Kolhapur facility has adhered to the hiked fees and fines, while they have been charging old rates for RTO-related works. Other RTOs are waiting for clarification.

The government resolution (GR) regarding the implementation came into force on January 6, 2017 across the state. Following the directives, the Pune RTO began collecting fees and fines according to the prescribed rates, while RTO-related processes lie in a limbo. To resolve this, the state transport ministry has written to the Central ministry of road transport and highways asking if they should have charged the revised rates from December 29, 2016 or take low rates for pending work.

“We have been receiving complaints and queries from RTOs and people across the state. While we have been clear about charging revised fees and fines from December itself, there is no clarification over pending works of permits, vehicle registration and licences, which were supposed to be done before that day. To get our questions answered, we have sent a letter to the Centre,” said state transport minister Diwakar Raote.

Meanwhile, the Pune RTO has sent notices to 10,000 people who had carried out several processes between December 29, 2016 and January 6, 2017. They have been told to pay the difference amount according to the revised fees and fines for their work.

The notices and the GR in itself has come as an unpleasant surprise to many like Abhishek Khole, a businessman from Pune, who had purchased his car just a few days before and was charged the hiked fee. “After purchasing the car in the last week of December 2016, I was told by the dealer that the vehicle registration process will take some time. Meanwhile, this new GR came into force and later I was told that I need to pay more Rs 2,000 for the vehicle registration fee. But, if I have bought the car before the GR was in picture, I should be charged the old rates.’

Bappu Bhave, president of Pune Auto Rickshaw Federation, said, “Majority of the auto drivers in the city have suffered due to this sudden fee and fine hike. Government should have got in the hike in several stages and not all of a sudden. One auto driver hardly earns Rs 400 per day and if they are now forced to pay heavy fees and fines for RTO-related works, it will be difficult for them to survive.”

According to the Centre’s notification, the fee for the learner’s licence has been hiked from Rs 30 to Rs 150 — a five-fold increase, while that of driving tests has been hiked from Rs 50 to Rs 300. For registration of vehicles in different categories, the amount and various fines over delay of procedure have been increased. Whereas for heavy and passenger vehicle registration, the amount has been increased from Rs 600 to Rs 1,500 while for imported four-wheelers, the hike has been from Rs 800 to Rs 5,000. “We are receiving queries from RTOs and people across the state. A letter has been sent to Centre for answers,” said Diwakar Raote, State transport minister.

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