In a bid to promote digital payment of toll tax using FASTag, operators will be given discounts on return journey while plying their vehicles like cars, buses, tracks, two wheelers etc through toll plazas on national highways across the country. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has issued a circular on 15 January in this regard.
“In order to enable further penetration and widespread usage of FASTag for toll payment across India, it was deliberated that all concessions/ discount applicable on toll plaza like return fare discount, local exemption shall be limited to toll payments paid via FASTag only,” the circular issued by Mr Asheesh Sharma, member (finance) of NHAI stated.
“In view of above, in order to promote digital payments of toll via FASTag, it has been decided that the discount for users who make return journey within 24 hours shall be provided only if the toll payments have been paid via FASTag. No return journey discount shall be provided to toll payments paid in cash or any other modes w.e.f 15 January, 2020. Similarly, all local discount shall be provided by concessionaire/toll plaza operators through FASTag only w.e.f 15 January, 2020,” it said.
Earlier in November in 2019, NHAI had announced to make 25 per cent of total lanes in a toll plaza on national highway ‘hybrid’ so that all modes of payment- both FASTag and existing non- FASTag – systems can be made by the operators.
“We have been informed about the NHAI’s move to give discount on toll tax only in case of return journey of vehicles using plazas on national highways. It will be useful for us if the NHAI makes 50 percent of lanes on toll plazas ‘hybrid’ for all modes of payment,” said Mr Rahul Chatterjee, secretary of All Bengal Bus Minibus Samannay Samity.
FASTags are prepaid automatically rechargeable tags that will automatically deduct the toll amount while crossing plazas on highways. With the help of these tags drivers won’t be require to pay tolls in cash and thus all vehicles will cross plazas fast without waiting in a long queue. As soon as the vehicle crosses the toll plaza, the toll fee will be deducted from bank account or prepaid wallet linked with FASTags.
There will be Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system in the FASTags. FASTags are issued by more than 20 authorised banks through various channels like point-of-sale (POS) at toll plazas on national highways across states. FASTag can be bought from the certified banks like SBI, HDFC, Syndicate Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, etc. The new system of payment of toll tax through FASTag has already been implemented form 15 December in 2019.