New Delhi: The road transport ministry has extended the deadline for mandatory usage of FASTag for all four-wheel on the National Highway till February 1, 2021.

Earlier, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had announced to completely do away with cash transactions for paying toll charges from January 1.

FASTag has already become mandatory for M and N class four-wheelers sold before December 1, 2017. For this, the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 were amended. The ministry issued a notification regarding this on November 6.

At present, the share of transactions made through FASTag is said to be around 75-80%. In a statement to the NHAI, the ministry said that the highways authority can obtain the needed regulatory requirement for ensuring 100% cashless fee collection from February 15 onwards.

It had further been mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate will be done only after the fitment of FASTag for the Transport Vehicles. For National Permit Vehicles, the fitment of FASTag was mandated since October 1, 2019.

In order to discourage cash transactions at toll plazas, all lanes barring one on each side have been made dedicated "FASTag lanes" and any vehicle entering these lanes without FASTag are liable to pay double the normal toll fee.

“Cash is a legal mode of transaction and none can be denied from paying in cash. Hence, the best option would be strict enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Rule, which has made valid FASTag mandatory,” said an official.