It s official now

It s official now THE authorities are caught in a logjam. They cannot shy away from the challenge of restricting the use of dirty fuels, as it is no longer a ‘mere plea’ of a few civil society groups. Pointer to shallow policies, a report commissioned by the Union ministry of environment and forests (moef) proposes to combat air pollution through a harsh tax regime. It is for the first time that such radical recommendations are being considered by the government, much to the chagrin of the automobile industry.

The yet to be published interim report, ‘A proposal to levy taxes on polluting input and output’, was prepared by experts from Chennai-based Madras School of Economics along with researchers from National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. It once again confirms that pollution is always about taking hard decisions. One of its main proposals is to impose an ecotax on the purchase of private vehicles (cars, two-wheelers and jeeps) on the basis of their fuel economy. “Indian data as regards to the proportion of vehicular emission related morbidity, and its impact on health are insufficient. Therefore, a tax incentive structure has been formulated based on the ratio of fuel economy for different categories of vehicles complying with various Euro norms,” the authors state.

The tax rate would depend on the ‘resource tax factor’

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