Zenith mantra: Discourage sale of big cars to lessen pollution

NEW DELHI: Meghalaya Excise Minister, Zenith Sangma, has recommended raising taxes on big cars, specially the luxury ones, to reduce pollution in the whole country.

“Sale of big cars should be discouraged by fixing higher rates of taxes,” Zenith said at the meeting of the Empowered Committee (EC) of Finance Ministers held in the national capital on Thursday.

The Minister also demanded that taxes on automobile parts and accessories should be made uniform all over the country or at least within the Northeastern region for balanced purchase and sale of such goods.

Addressing the meeting of the Empowered Committee (EC), Zenith pointed out that tax on automobile parts and accessories in Meghalaya remains at 13.5 per cent while in neighbouring Assam and other states it is only 5 per cent. As a result sale of such items in the hill state remains very low and both the purchaser and seller exploit this loophole depriving the Government of its revenue, he said.

Zenith was also informed that the next meeting of the Empowered Committee to discuss specific problems of the North Eastern states as far as the contentious Goods and Service Tax (GST) is concerned will be held in Shillong in November.  Zenith also took up the vexed issue with other finance ministers of the region during the interaction, ministry sources said, while informing that his counterparts endorsed his views.

Earlier, he had pressed upon the newly-appointed Chairman of the Committee and other participating states to hold a separate meeting for the North East considering the fact that the socio-economic situation in the region was different from other parts of the country.

The meet in Shillong would also deliberate on issues concerning other special category states in the country. States like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh will participate in the meeting.

Incidentally, Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Abdul Rahim Rather, has been made the new Chairman of the Committee following the resignation of his Bihar counterpart Sushil Modi.

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