The private bus operators in the city today demanded the extension of validity of fitness certificate, permits and other licences beyond 31 July. The private bus unions have also demanded a waiver of taxes, permit charges, fitness certificate fees and other penalties.

Operators working under three major bus unions namely Joint Council of Bus Syndicates(JCBS), West Bengal Bus Minibus Owners’ Association(WBBMOA) and Mini Bus Operators’ Coordination Committee(MBOCC) today wrote letters to the state transport minister, Suvendu Adhikari and principal secretary of the department, urging them for extension.

Earlier this week, the department had issued orders allowing a waiver on penalty on tax dues by transport or commercial vehicles other than non-AC stage carriage or private buses. The penalty on tax and additional tax on these vehicles were exempted, starting from 1 July, on the condition that the taxes are paid within September 30.

In addition, a notification issued on 24 July, extended the validity of the permits, certificates of fitness and driving licences of transport vehicles till 31 July. The union leaders of WBBMOA and MBOCC, claimed, “Though the notification was issued on 24 July, we received it on 27 July. How can we renew the permit and fitness certificate within this short period of time and pay taxes and penalties before the renewal?”

Echoing similar assertions, general secretary of JCBS, Tapan Banerjee said, “Since the commencement of the lockdown in the month of March, the bus operators are reeling under poor income resulting in losses. We have written to the state government for extension of the validity period of various permits and licences along with waiver of fines and penalties till the month of October.”