Opposition to Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill

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August 06, 2018
2 years

Why in news?

  • The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, passed last year by the Lok Sabha, now faces opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Click here to know more on the Bill.

What is the need for the amendment?

  • The Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, 1988 governing motor vehicles and transport is largely outdated.
  • It lacks the provisions that are necessary to manage the present fast motorisation.
  • Especially, the passenger transport sector operating for inter-city services has grown with vested interests.
  • This is a result of exploitation of the lack of transparency and regulatory bottlenecks.
  • So with a transparent system, professional new entrants can come into the sector.
  • Also, State-run services have not kept pace with the times.
  • E.g. investments in the urban metro rail systems are yielding poor results in the absence of last-mile connectivity services.
  • These lacunae have to be addressed to improve road safety, ensure orderly use of vehicles and expand public transport.
  • But the bill faces opposition from the states.

What are the concerns?

  • Some state governments are concerned about the new provisions, Sections 66A and 88A.
  • This will empower the Centre to form a National Transportation Policy.
  • Notably, it would be through a process of consultation, and not concurrence.
  • It will also enable Centrally-drafted schemes for national, multi-modal and inter-State movement of goods and passengers, for rural mobility and even last-mile connectivity.
  • The provisions would bring in a new paradigm that would overhaul the sector, and hence the States see it anti-federal.
  • Clearly the issue is not one of legislative competence as the subject is in the Concurrent List.
  • So clearly, parliament can make a law defining powers available to the States.
  • The opposition is thus more due to the perceived shift of power from the States to the Centre.

What is the way forward?

  • Well-run bus services have to be enabled to operate across States with suitable permit charges.
  • This is an imperative to meet the growing needs of a transforming economy.
  • The regulatory changes could contribute to fostering competition, reducing fares and increasing services.
  • Other provisions on road safety, fines and curbing corruption need proper enforcement.
  • A professional accident investigation agency has to be put in place to determine the best practices.
  • In all, an equitable regulatory framework has to be created for the orderly growth of transport services.
  • States should thus reconsider their opposition to amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act.
  • The passage of the Bill would also help meet the UN mandate to reduce road accidents up to 50% by 2020.


Source: The Hindu

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