Bihar introduces green tax

Stone quarries banned to protect hills

By Alok Gupta
Published: Wednesday 31 March 2010

Bihar  government’s budget has introduced measures to protect the environment. The budget passed for 2010-2011 includes sales tax and value added tax on old vehicles and halves the tax on battery-run vehicles.

The state’s finance minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, also announced a blanket ban on mining hills for quarrying stones. He said leases of existing quarries will not be renewed.

“Bihar lagged behind in formulating laws to save the environment. We will take more such decisions,” said Modi while indicating that the state may introduce cng run vehicles soon. The ban on stone quarrying and use of stone crushers follows deforestation and whittling down of hills in Gaya, Rajgir and other parts of Bihar. Modi said the state has very little forest cover and it is imperative to take tough decisions.

The new tax on vehicles that are 12 years old or more will not apply to autorickshaws, tractors and trailers. At the same time, the government has abolished the 25 per cent tax relief on vehicles that are 10 years old or more and 30 per cent tax relief given to old goods carriers.

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