The Kerala government on Friday announced an amnesty scheme for those who had registered their vehicles in the union territory of Puducherry to evade tax in the home state.
Presenting the budget for 2018-19 in the state assembly, Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac said such vehicle owners can avert legal proceedings if they are prepared to remit the actual registration taxes in Kerala.
The government would re-examine the legal proceedings against them under the special amnesty scheme which would be valid till April 30 this year, he said. "The government expects an additional revenue of Rs 100 crore through the scheme," the minister said.
Over 1,500 luxury vehicles and 2,000 other cars of Keralites have been registered in fake addresses in Puducherry and are being used in the state, he said, quoting the figures of the police and the Motor Vehicle Department.
"The motor vehicle department is initiating legal steps to collect taxes from such vehicles," Isaac said. "It is clear that many vehicle owners have indulged in such dealings without being aware of legal consequences. We are announcing an amnesty scheme for them," he added.
If they fail to remit the tax under the scheme within the amnesty period, stringent measures, including seizure of vehicles would be initiated, the minister said. Many vehicle owners are now reluctant to report their tax evasion fearing criminal proceedings, he added.
The amnesty scheme is expected to be a relief for many as the motor vehicle department has launched stringent steps to nab tax evaders. BJP's actor-turned-Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi and actors Fahad Fazil and Amala Paul are facing charges of tax evasion of their luxury vehicles.
(With PTI inputs)