New Delhi: Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari is scheduled to introduce the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in Lok Sabha on Monday. The bill proposes changes to only three sections from an earlier amendment bill, which had lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.
According to the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019, a copy of which has been reviewed by Hindustan Times, the Centre has proposed to omit a clause in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, that allowed states to decide how to maintain their registers for driving licenses, to centralize vehicle registration data and achieve standardization.
The Centre has also omitted its earlier proposal to increase fines for delays in vehicle registration from ~100 to ~5,000.
It had earlier proposed to make it mandatory to consider only vehicle fitness certificates from automated testing centres by October 1, 2019. The new bill has changed it to, “provided further that no certificate of fitness shall be granted to a vehicle, after such date that may be notified by the government, unless such vehicle has been tested at a testing station.”
The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019, seeks to amend the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, and aims to increase penalties on traffic violations, address issues on third-party insurance, regulation of cab aggregators, road safety, opening the public transport sector for private players and regulate permits. It also proposes a National Transportation Policy for ushering guidelines on the transportation of goods and passengers.
The controversial amendment bill, drafted in 2016, was approved by the Lok Sabha in April 2017, followed by nationwide strikes by public transport organisations. Clauses such as Section 66 — which involves interstate permits and a national scheme on transportation — were opposed by states. States had expressed concerns over the possible loss of revenue as a result of a centralised system.
“We have not made any major changes to the clauses. We had clarified to the states earlier that revenue will not be centralised,” a ministry official said.
“If implemented properly, this bill can transform the road safety situation in India. Some crucial amendments like a digitized and uniform licensing system will go a long way in strengthening road safety situation in India,” said said Piyush Tewari, CEO, Save Life Foundation.