Significant tax relief granted to tourist buses; now reduced to Rs 1000 per seat.
The government has chosen to decrease the tax on tourist buses to boost the registration of All-India tourist buses in Kerala. This decision was prompted by the observation that certain tourist buses, which ought to be registered in Kerala, are instead registered in states like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh where taxes are comparatively lower. These buses are operating with All India Permits issued by the Central Government.
In addition to the state losing tax revenue due to buses being registered in other states, the government has also evaluated the impact on registration and fitness test fees. To address this and encourage the registration of such buses within Kerala, Finance Minister KN Balagopal announced a decision to reduce the tax on tourist buses in the budget statement.
Tourist buses with regular seats under the All India Tourist Permit are presently taxed at Rs 2250 per seat for three months. However, a budget proposal suggests reducing it to Rs. 1500. Concurrently, buses equipped with pushback seats are currently taxed at Rs 3,000 per seat for three months, with the government proposing a reduction to Rs. 2000.
Buses with sleeper berths operating under the All India Tourist Permit currently incur a tax of Rs 4,000 per berth for three months. This rate is being revised to Rs 3,000. The Finance Minister has declared an upcoming amendment to the law, specifying that only ten percent of the quarterly tax will be imposed for seven days on vehicles entering the state intermittently for tourism purposes under the All India Tourist Permit.
The government has opted to impose a one-month tax on buses registered in other states that operate in Kerala for over seven days. Simultaneously, tourist buses operating regularly in Kerala will be subjected to quarterly tax collection. Additionally, the motor vehicle department is set to devise a scheme allowing for a one-time payment of tax on vehicles.