NEW DELHI: The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday made two major announcements in both Houses of Parliament, one on the scrapping policy for old vehicles from April 1 and another on shutting down toll booths across the country, to put an end to the unending wait of vehicles at ‘nakas’.
The scrapping policy to reduce pollution provides for fitness test after 20 years for personal vehicles and after 15 years for commercial vehicles. A vehicle failing the fitness test won't be allowed renewal of registration and declared as an "End of Life" vehicle, Gadkari said in a statement, first in the Lok Sabha and later in the Rajya Sabha.
He said an advisory has been also issued to automakers to provide an incentive of 5% rebate to those buying a new vehicle after producing a scrapping certificate.
He said this policy will also lead to an increase in the automobile industry turnover -- to Rs 10 lakh crore from the current Rs 4.5 lakh crore.
Noting that it will be a "win-win" policy, the minister said it would help improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution; the income accruing from GST will also rise due to the purchase of new vehicles.
The policy is aimed at reducing the population of old and defective vehicles, bringing down vehicular air pollutants, and improving road and vehicular safety, he said.
With the scrapping of old vehicles, raw materials such as plastic, copper, aluminium, steel and rubber will be recycled. This will bring down the cost of components and help the industry become more cost-competitive, Gadkari added.
He also told the Lok Sabha that "within one year, all physical toll booths in the country will be removed" as they are impediments to progress and the fast movement of vehicles. Instead, there will be a GPS-based system to track cars and levy charges accordingly. "Toll money will be collected, based on the GPS imaging," he said, noting how unhappy he was over the serpentine queues of vehicles at the toll booths.