Kejriwal’s election sop? Delhi government waives off fitness test fee, cuts penalties on auto drivers

In a move that could benefit over 90,000 auto drivers, the Delhi government Tuesday waived off the vehicles fitness test fee and significantly scaled down various charges including penalties. In June the ruling AAP had hiked auto fares by over 18%. The decision to waive off the fitness test charge of Rs 600 and bring down the amounts of various charges and penalties was taken at a meeting of the Delhi cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The decision comes just a few months ahead of the Assembly polls in the national capital. The cabinet also approved a proposal of the transport department that reduces the registration or re-registration charges of autos from the prevailing Rs 1,000 to Rs 300, a government statement said. The GPS tracking charges presently being charged at the rate of Rs 100 per month along with GST and SIM charges have also been fully waived, it said, adding that the transport department will now bear these charges. All fresh changes will come into effect from September 1. However, the fees covered by Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules, 1993, will come into effect from October 15 after due changes in it by the transport department, a transport department official said. The late fee penalty on fitness test, which is presently Rs 1,000 along with Rs 50 per day, has now be decreased to Rs 300 and Rs 20 per day. The fee for duplicate registration certificate and ownership transfer will now be Rs 150, down from Rs 500 earlier. The penalty amount of Rs 500 per month has been brought down to Rs 100 per month. Fees in respect of grant as well as renewal of permit, contained in Rule 59(1)(a) of Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules, 1993 is Rs 1,000. It is proposed to reduce this fee to Rs 500 and an amendment would be required to be made in Rule 59(1)(a) to give effect to this proposal. Delhi Auto Richkshaw Union general secretary Rajendra Soni welcomed the decision to waive off fitness test fee and reduce other charges. Soni urged the Delhi government to speed up work for recalibraton of metres so that the auto drivers could smoothly charge revised fares.