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Soon, no cash, no queues at toll plazas with FASTag

pankaj shirbhate
Thursday, 9 November 2017

Mumbai: Giving much-needed relief to motorists, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced here that there will be no waiting at toll plazas from New Year as the government is initiating electronic toll collection (ETC) mechanism at all toll plazas. All the new and old vehicles will be equipped with ‘FASTag’ for toll payment.

The government is going to launch a new system for payment of toll across the country. There are 378 toll plazas in the country. There will be fast tracks, where vehicles can pass without halting for paying the toll. 

The vehicles will be equipped with ‘FASTag’ that will be sensed by the cameras installed at the toll plazas. It will credit the toll amount to the toll collection company’s bank account from the from the vehicle owner’s bank account automatically,” Gadkari said. 

“We are going to ask vehicle manufacturers to install ‘FASTag’ in the vehicles. The government will provide the equipment to old vehicles. This system will collect Rs 10 crore revenue in one year. This will start from December-end and by March-end more than 25 lakh vehicles will be equipped with this special tag,” Gadkari said. 

“It will save fuel and time of the vehicles. The logistics cost in India is as high as 18 per cent compared to China’s 8 to 10 per cent. Till we cut the logistics cost to 12 per cent from 18 per cent, the exports of the nation will not increase. The government is working towards lowering logistics cost by a third by developing coastal shipping and inland waterways as alternative modes of transport,” said Gadkari.

“We have acquired land for 32 logistics parks for major cities and signed MoUs with some companies. These parks would be located outside the city where big trucks would arrive with goods, after which smaller vehicles would take the goods to different parts of the city,” he said.

Gadkari claimed that demonetisation led the growth of digital transactions by 58 per cent in one year. New tax payers came forward, which also increased the revenue of the nation. After demonetisation, economic reforms started, and it is changing the economic system of the nation, he claimed. 

“After demonetisation, 90 per cent of black money has come into banks and 17.17 lakh suspicious matters of transactions came to light. The audit and data analysis of these accounts are going on. About 1.5 lakh people deposited Rs 5 crore in bank accounts, which is suspicious and the truth will come out after investigation,” he said. 

“Real estate sector was a tool to park black money, but the rates of real estate have fallen. That will prevent people from investing black money in this sector,” he added. Gadkari said, “Deposits in bank accounts have grown from 9 per cent to 13.3 per cent in one year. Investment in mutual funds has gone up by 45 per cent i.e. Rs 20 lakh crore from 13.8 lakh crore. Investment in insurance sectors have also gone up.” 

“There was a parallel economy, that was run through hawala and fake currency rackets, which has been stopped totally. It also stopped the stone pelting in Kashmir and anti-terrorist activities stopped,” Gadkari said.   “In 2016, there were 26 lakh income tax payers in the country. Post demonetisation, the number jumped to 56 lakh. It means they were evading tax earlier,” he said.

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