New Delhi: The road ministry on Thursday said the exemption of toll payment on national highways will continue till the midnight of 2 December, and issued notices to concessionaires and fee collection agencies in this respect.
Further, when the toll fee collection resumes after 2nd December, old currency notes of Rs500 will be accepted at toll plazas across all national highways.
This is the third time the government has extended the toll tax suspension across all its 365 national highways. The road ministry had earlier decided to suspend the toll tax till 11 November midnight following the demonetisation of Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes earlier this month.
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The suspension was further extended till 14 and then 24 November, but in a bid to ease the inconvenience of cash-strapped transporters, the toll tax suspension has been extended by eight more days now.
According to S.P Singh, senior fellow, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), the continuation of toll exemption on the national highways is an irrational move because all the transporters and fleet owners have bank accounts and an overwhelming majority of such people including the truck drivers themselves are fully equipped to handle electronic transactions through net banking, toll tags and payment wallets, among others.
Earlier this month, Nitin Gadkari, minister of road transport and highways, had said that toll fee collection was suspended after reviewing the situation and that the government will bear the loss resulting from the non-collection of the toll fee.