State-owned vehicles exempt from Carbon tax | Sunday Observer

State-owned vehicles exempt from Carbon tax

State-owned vehicles will be exempted from the newly introduced Carbon tax, said a senior official of the Department of Motor Traffic, despite criticism against the move. The tax was introduced this week for vehicles running on fossil fuel but excluded government vehicles and hybrid varieties.

Low-income groups have also criticised the move as those who owned older vehicles would have to pay more while the affluent with brand new vehicles are charged less. Similar green taxes have come under fire in other countries too, as being unfair by the less affluent.

According to the new tax structure, passenger transport private buses less than five years old must pay a flat rate of Rs 1,000 and buses between 5-10 years - Rs 2,000 while those over ten years old must pay Rs 3,000 as Carbon tax to the State.

An owner of a private bus plying on the Kohuwala-Kelaniya route said it was unfair that the government-owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses which contribute considerably to air pollution would be exempted from the green levy.

According to the Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic Jagath Chandrasiri, the tax will be tied to the revenue licence from next year. “But in 2019 the tax will not be compulsory to get the annual Revenue licence,” he said.

The Carbon tax which is charged in addition to the emission tax will be implemented from January 1 this year. It is calculated based on the year of manufacture, engine capacity and the fuel type - hybrid or otherwise.

The tax structure for privately owned hybrids will be Rs.250 for a vehicle with a 1000cc engine capacity and not more than five years. Every additional engine cc will be charged 25 cents. For hybrids between 5-10 years, the tax will be 50 cents for one engine cc (Rs.500 for 1000cc) and for over ten years it will be Re.1.

For vehicles running on fossil fuel, the tax structure is 50 cents for 1 engine cc (less than five years from the date of manufacture), Re.1 (for vehicles 5-10 years) and Rs.1.50 for vehicles over ten years.