In a bid to encourage introduction of eco-friendly fuel efficient buses, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has formally accorded sanction to a scheme to provide Rs 5 lakh subsidy to transporters for replacing 15-year old buses.
An order issued by the Commissioner Secretary, Transport Department Hridesh Kumar has paved way for the payment of subsidy for replacement of old fleet of buses which was hanging fire since 2019.
“Sanction is hereby accorded for one time authorization to the transport commissioner to draw the funds under in official account and further transfer the entitled amount of subsidy to the beneficiary through DBT mode by issuing advice to the J&K. The DBT unit of NIC shall register the “J&K Transport Subsidy Scheme’ on DBT portal immediately as per the request of Transport Commissioner.”
The scheme is intended to provide impetus to public transport by providing subsidy to transporters for introducing new eco-friendly fuel efficient buses compliant to BS-IV and above norms.
According to officials, the scheme would ensure optimum usage of the available road space by transporting the maximum number of people per unit of road space, thus obviating the problem of congestion, traffic jams and pollution.
Notably, Rs 25 crore have already been earmarked for the purchase of old buses by private players in 2019-20 budget. The amount of subsidy would be Rs 5 lakh per Bus.
Officials said that the scheme may be extended to mini buses/matadors in near future.
To ensure transparency, open advertisement will be issued for calling interested operators to avail subsidy.
“The subsidy needs to be provided to only those who are in need of loan to raise capital, and the state pollution board will certify the age of the vehicle. J&K Bank will be one of the banks that may provide loan to the operators besides banks shall make the payment to OEM along with subsidy,” the scheme reads.
The scheme also comes with a rider for the beneficiary operators that they must ply these vehicles on identified routes for 5 years for which concerned RTOs shall file compliance reports after every six months.
“The beneficiary operators have to ensure that vehicles clear Government fees, including Token tax, Passenger tax, Fitness Fees, Permit Fee, bank liability etc besides the vehicles should have a valid permit renewed up-to-date along with insurance certificate,” the scheme reads.
According to the scheme, for availing the subsidy, the concerned officers would be required to condemn the vehicle/s and get it scrapped and only after deregistration of vehicle/s they shall be allowed to avail the subsidy.
The scheme also says that applicants shall be allowed three months to purchase the vehicles after entering into loan agreement with the concerned bank and subsidy component shall be transferred to the bank on capital investment for subsequent payment to O.E.M.
For periodically reviewing the working of the scheme a committee will be formed with Principal Secretary Transport as Chairman, Transport Commissioner J&K as member, RTO Jammu and RTO Kashmir as Member Secretaries for Jammu and Kashmir division respectively.