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Kerala expresses concerns over Road Transport Bill

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Kerala expresses concerns over Road Transport Bill
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Panaji: Kerala governments has expressed fears over the Centre's proposed Road Transport Bill which, they claim, will "take away their rights", even as the government has assured that there is no need to worry.

The issue is being discussed during the ongoing 21st South India Transport Council meeting in Goa where the Karnataka and Kerala governments have expressed their objections to the proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was present at the meeting which was inaugurated on Friday.

"As per section 2 of the said act (proposed Bill), the states and Union Territories will have no control over road transport in its territory which is against the federal set of the country and its Constitution," Kerala's Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said addressing the meeting last evening.

"Due to this, the state government will not be able to formulate schemes or programmes which are state specific and the entire control of road transport, road safety, and planning will be with the Union government," he said.

Referring to section 86 of the proposed bill dealing with taxation of motor vehicles, he said, "Motor vehicle tax is a major source of revenue for the state governments and taking over this power from the states will be against the spirit of the country's Constitution."

"If this bill is passed in the present form, the powers of the state government to issue permit, fixation of revision of fares, inter-state transport agreement and collection of compounding fees will be taken away from the states. This will also affect primary travelling needs of the public in the states," he added.

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