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Get ready to pay congestion cess on new vehicles

It's undoubtedly a 'taxing' time for the sluggish Indian automobile industry. Following the proposal of a heavy green cess on fast-selling diesel cars, the Supreme Court on Thursday proposed a congestion charge on all new car purchases and to discourage luxury vehicles.

The suggestion came after the court rejected the complaint of heavy and medium truck manufacturers that registration authorities in the National Capital Region had misinterpreted the apex court's order banning sale of diesel cars and SUVs with engine capacity of 2000 cc or more and were refusing to register trucks and buses.

A bench of Chief Justice T. S. Thakur and Justices A. K. Sikri and R. Banumathi sternly rejected the plea and said: "No trucks will be registered for now. The city is choked with vehicles. Where is the space for parking these cars and trucks? There should be a congestion charge levied with purchase of every new vehicle. It should be levied in the Supreme Court premises also where advocates bring big cars in large numbers choking the parking space."

The court also extended the deadline for conversion of all taxis into CNG mode by another month that would allow some time to cab aggregators like Ola and Uber.