At any given point, there are thousands of old vehicles plying on Indian roads. Compared to newer ones, old vehicles generally emit more pollution into the atmosphere and are thus considered less environmentally-friendly. There are several ship-loads of vehicles that are used by various government bodies in the country. If a recent statement by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is to be believed, that might soon change. Starting April 2022, government vehicles that are 15 years or older will not be able to get their registrations renewed.
According to the ministry, if imposed, this rule will be applicable to all bodies of the government. Therefore, the statement takes into account central or state governments, union territories, PSUs, municipal and autonomous bodies. As of now, the ministry is awaiting inputs and feedback into the matter from various stakeholders. In a month’s time from now (by April 2021), the ministry will have received the requisite comments from the stakeholders. Only post that will there be any real progress in the matter.
In February 2021, the government introduced the much-awaited vehicle scrappage policy. As a part of the Union Budget, the new policy for scrapping older vehicles is supposed to work on several fronts. According to the vehicle scrappage policy, personal vehicles that are 20 years old will be required to undergo a fitness test. Meanwhile, the age criteria for commercial vehicles for the fitness test has been set at 15 years. Furthermore, the government is also mulling on introducing the so-called “green tax” on older vehicles that emit more pollution. However, vehicles that are fueled by CNG, LPG, and higher ethanol content will be exempted from the green tax.
Under the vehicle scrappage policy, nearly one crore vehicles will be headed to the scrap yard. According to Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road, Transport, Highways and MSMEs, the implementation of this policy will lead to multiple benefits. Apparently, the scrappage policy will give jobs to as many as 50,000 people and bring in investments worth 10,000 crores. And considering that newer vehicles pollute less, the implantation of the vehicle scrappage policy will have a positive environmental effect. Since there are many 15-year-old (and even older) vehicles in our government’s fleet, canceling their registration renewals will have a positive impact as well.