Luxury buses in Himachal to pay annual tax of Rs 9 lakh: Dy CM Agnihotri

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said the state is planning to purchase 75 e-buses, taking the total fleet to 170, according to a statement issued here on Thursday

Press Trust of India Shimla
HP Dy CM, Mukesh Agnihotri

Himachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri

Listen to This Article

Luxury buses plying in Himachal Pradesh will have to pay an annual tax of Rs 9 lakh, Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said on Thursday.

Addressing the media here, Agnihotri, who also holds the transport portfolio, said around 200-250 luxury buses ply in the state but do not pay tax.

The move is aimed at increasing the income of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), which is facing a loss of Rs 1,355 crores, he added.

The monthly income of the HRTC is Rs 65 crore while its expense is around Rs 134 crore, the minister said, adding that the gap of Rs 69 crore is borne by the state government.

Due to the heavy losses, payment of salaries and pensions is getting delayed, he said while giving assurances that salaries of the HRTC employees would be given by the seventh of every month.

The HRTC is incurring losses as it provides concessionary travel to women and children and its buses run on routes in remote areas for few passengers where other operators do not ply.

Also Read

Will provide assistance to police department for modernisation: HP CM Sukhu

Mumbai transport takes 400 buses off roads as 3 CNG buses catch fire

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu to take oath as Himachal's chief minister today

New members of Himachal Pradesh cabinet led by Sukhu to swear in today

Use of tech in judicial system ensures transparency, productivity: CM Sukhu

Sebi proposes to amend 'unpublished price sensitive information' definition

India in touch with US authorities on Tahawwur Rana's extradition: Kwatra

Haryana Police blocks over 20,000 mobile numbers issued on fake documents

Kerala Minister estimates around Rs 8 cr loss in Kollam drug warehouse fire

DU, Ambedkar University sign MoU to work in emerging areas like AI

At present, 3,142 HRTC buses are plying on 3,719 routes in the state. As many as 167 buses are 15 years old and need replacement, while 1,199 buses have zero book value, of which 202 would be replaced immediately, the minister said.

In total, 369 buses would be replaced and the strength of the HRTC fleet would reduce to 2,773, he said and added that about 600 buses (both electric and electrical) would be purchased in 2023.

Reforms would be brought in the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) to make it self-reliant and provide improved financial resources, ensuring timely payment of salaries and pensions to its employees and pensioners, and a committee has been set up to suggest ways to increase its income, Agnihotri said.

Drivers and conductors would also give real-time feedback on routes where the number of passengers is negligible and those that have been opened for political reasons, he said, adding this would also help in the identification of black spots for rectification.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, meanwhile, announced to pay the liabilities of overtime allowance and night allowance of drivers and conductors of the HRTC in two instalments within a period of two months.

Presiding over a meeting of four employee unions, including the HRTC INTUC, HRTC Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, HRTC Drivers Union and the HRTC Conductors, here on Thursday, Sukhu also announced to release three per cent Dearness Allowance to the employees and pensioners of the HRTC, besides clearing their medical reimbursement bills shortly.

Plans are underway to purchase 75 e-buses to run on 75 identified routes, and efforts are being made to develop the necessary infrastructure, including charging stations, he said.

Tenders for the purchase of these buses have been issued and the letter of award (LOA) is expected to be issued by next month. Furthermore, the HRTC has also identified routes to replace 225 diesel buses with e-buses, Sukhu added.

The HRTC is transitioning from diesel buses to electric in a phased manner and the current fleet already includes 95 electric buses, he said, adding that Himachal aims to become a model for e-vehicles and six green corridors were being established.

Earlier, the chief minister said the state government would start the recruitment process to fill up vacant posts of drivers and conductors in the HRTC.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 18 2023 | 6:37 PM IST

Explore News