New Delhi: A group of ministers (GoM) on transport constituted by the roads ministry has recommended a uniform road tax structure for vehicles across states.

At its meeting in Guwahati on Thursday, the GoM headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yunus Khan said the move will end the practice of people registering their vehicles in low-tax states and using them in other states. The move will also bring relief to consumers moving across states.

The GoM has also recommended one national bus and taxi permit on the lines of permits for goods transporters. “Public transport in the country is growing annually at a rate of just about 2%, as against a 20% annual growth in private transport. Therefore, a national permit will give the much-needed fillip to public transport and help reduce road congestion," the committee observed.

The group was constituted to find a solution to the various problems plaguing the road sector in the country. It was also asked to suggest ways to improve road safety and facilitate ease of transport.

Thursday’s session, inaugurated by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, was focused on “One Nation, One Tax" and “One Nation, One Permit" proposals. The GoM also proposed to liberalize the permit system for electric vehicles to promote alternative fuels. It suggested raising the tax on diesel vehicles by 2% while lowering the tax on electric vehicles.

In December, a 24-member select committee of the Rajya Sabha had also suggested an “open road policy" like the “open sky policy" where all bus permits would be made national permits.

“It was submitted before the committee that if a bus has to ply in five southern states, then it has to pay permit fees of Rs42 lakh every year...The ministry of road transport and highways informed the committee that if the states agree to One Nation, One Permit, One Tax then the revenues of the states will increase. This will also reduce the chances of one operator taking a few permits and running a large number of buses," the panel said in its report submitted to the Rajya Sabha.

The parliamentary committee in its report had said that it appreciates the idea of ‘One Nation, One Permit, One Tax’ especially if it increases the revenue of the states and had called upon the central and state governments to work out the modalities for implementing it.