Sunday, 21 September 2008

Bhutan : No Car Tax Now

home 20 September, 2008 - The Ministry of Finance has announced that the ministry has no proposal to increase car tax. The finance secretary, in an interview with Bhutan Observer, said, “There’s nothing going on for the car sales tax but we’ll do something later about it”.

Finance minister, Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu, said that the announcement has been made to prevent speculation in the market.

However, a revision of taxes and fees on vehicles according to sizes is proposed in the surface transport master plan made by the Road Safety and Transport Authority under the Ministry of Information and Communications. The plan, which will soon be presented, to the cabinet, also proposes a green tax on older vehicles, to phase out old polluting vehicles.

Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu said that the proposal was yet to reach him officially. “Any such tax proposal has to be cleared by the Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

The main aim of the transport master plan was to decongest traffic in urban areas and provide better public transport in both urban and rural areas for reducing dependence on private cars and improving accessibility.

Earlier, Lyonpos Nandalal Rai and Yeshey Zimba had said that the issue of tax on cars had been raised in cabinet meetings. Lyonpo Zimba later clarified that the issue had not been discussed in detail.

Increasing purchase of cars over the years has contributed to rupee shortage, negative balance of payment, congestion and environmental pollution, generating concern among the people and the government.

By Tenzing Lamsang

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