The state government of Himachal Pradesh has announced a unique opportunity for vehicle owners who have yet to register their vehicles. This initiative aims to assist owners of goods carriers, two-wheelers, tractors, poclain, JCB, or any other four-wheelers in registering their vehicles at the current market price without incurring any penalties.

By implementing this measure, the government seeks to reduce the risks associated with driving unregistered vehicles and promote compliance with registration requirements, thereby enhancing road safety.

Additionally, the state government has decided to waive penalties and interest charges on Passengers and Goods Tax (PGT) for defaulters. Defaulters of PGT have until June 30, 2023, to take advantage of this opportunity. To obtain No Objection and Tax Clearance from the State Taxes and Excise Department, defaulters must pay a one-time settlement fee alongside the principal amount. Vehicle passing and operation will also require clearance from the Transport Department.

This one-time relief aims to address outstanding tax liabilities and facilitate the transition to the Special Road Tax as a replacement for PGT.

The government’s decision will benefit a total of 1,60,291 goods carrier owners in Himachal Pradesh, including those with small and large goods vehicles as well as tractors. These owners have faced financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a substantial increase in their PGT liabilities. Responding to these circumstances, the state government has taken a compassionate approach by offering a single instance settlement for all tax liability cases, stated a government representative.

Previously, PGT defaulters were subject to an 18 per cent interest charge on the principal amount, in addition to penalties ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs. 5000 per quarter imposed by the state government. However, the government has now waived these penalties and interest charges, providing significant relief. This relaxation will alleviate the financial burden on goods vehicle owners, enabling them to regularize their tax liabilities and resume operations without the accumulation of penalties and interest.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.