Bangladesh mulls green tax for old vehicles
This photo taken on Oct. 19, 2016 shows an unfit human carrier moving on a road in Dhaka. – New Age file photo.
The government is considering imposing a green tax on second-hand motor vehicles reaching the economic life of 10 years or more to discourage owners from driving older vehicles and reduce environmental pollution, said a responsible.
A proposal to impose a green tax of 15-25% on the annual road tax based on economic life is under consideration, said Shabiha Pervin, executive director of the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority.
Shabiha added that more taxes could be imposed on diesel-powered vehicles and vehicles driving in the most polluted cities.
Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority is currently drafting the Green Tax Policy and Vehicle Disposal Policy to increase people’s interest in using public transport more and reduce environmental pollution.
Shabiha said that under the proposed vehicle scrapping policy, vehicles running without fitness could be sent to a dump station for scrapping without filing a case.
“These two policies will apply to government and non-government vehicles,” she added.
Shabiha hoped the policies, which are at a preliminary stage, would improve the chaotic situation on the roads.
According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, as of August, 54.03 lakh motor vehicles were registered nationwide. Of these vehicles, 19.05 lakh are registered in the capital.
The BRTA, however, does not have statistics on unfit vehicles in the country.
The draft green tax policy stipulated that the BRTA would collect the tax on all vehicles passing through 10 years of economic life.
Mainly, the tax could be imposed on motorcycles, cars, jeeps, micro-buses, vans, and government and non-government taxis after a thorough fitness check.
The green tax will be 15% for vehicles reaching 10 years of economic life, 16% for 11 years, 17% for 12 years, 18% for 13 years, 19% for 14 years, 20% for 15 years. years, 21% for 16 years, 22% for 17 years, 23% for 18 years, 24% for 19 years and 25% for 20 years from the records, he said.
He also said the amount of the tax could be increased by 5% if these are diesel-powered and an additional 5% for vehicles registered in pollution-hit cities like Dhaka, Gazipur, Chattogram and Narayanganj.
Currently, there is no vehicle tax based on economic life.
After analyzing registration statistics and certificates of fitness, the project indicates that the number of old vehicles, mainly cars, jeeps, micro-buses and motorcycles, is increasing.
According to BRTA, the number of vehicles without certificate of fitness was 5.08 lakh in January 2022.
Under the Road Transport Act 2018, it is illegal for any vehicle to travel without a certificate of fitness.
The project stated that in Bangladesh, there was no economic life for government-run vehicles, while the economic life of other vehicles was set at 20 years.
According to a study, Bangladesh emitted 169 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2012 and the transport sector contributed 9.92%.
Because the fuel efficiency of older vehicles is much lower than that of newer vehicles, older vehicles require more fuel to operate.
The tax could be imposed to discourage the use of older vehicles and prevent environmental pollution and fuel surcharges.
However, Bangladesh’s joint secretary Poribesh Andolan, Iqbal Habib, found the move “illogical”.
“The DTCA should focus on its main priorities, such as bus route franchises and car screening. Instead, they chase after old vehicles,” he said.
“People in our country are now buying old cars because they can’t buy new ones,” he said, urging the DTCA to do its job first.
The DTCA is also drafting the Vehicle Scrapping Policy to immediately scrap vehicles when found without updated documents.
“Currently, the police are filing records or sending vehicles to landfills, while this policy proposes to send vehicles directly to wrecking sites,” a DTCA official said Wednesday.
The policy is proposed to be implemented by both the police and the BRTA, he added.