The government will waive annual road tax and fitness fee for a motor car owned by a war-wounded, titled freedom fighter or family of a martyred freedom fighter.
Officials said finance minister AMA Muhith on August 8 approved a proposal of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority forwarded by Road Transport and Highways Division against the backdrop of the longstanding demand by war-wounded freedom fighters.
They said that successive governments had been extending benefits to freedom fighters although university students waged a movement recently demanding rationalisation of the quota system for public jobs that heavily favoured freedom fighters and their descendants.
While approving the proposal, Muhith noted that he granted the appeal considering the fact that the benefit would remain confined within a limited number of beneficiaries, according to officials.
He also noted that the government had already been providing many benefits to the war-wounded freedom fighters which should not be expanded further, they said.
The officials quoted Muhith as commenting that allowances given to the freedom fighters were, however, reviewed time to time.
Allocation of Tk 400 crore was proposed in the current fiscal to support insolvent war-wounded and sick freedom-fighters or their spouses, children or grand-children.
Moreover, Baishakhi allowances and Victory Day allowances will be provided to freedom fighters from the next fiscal.
The BRTA officials said that they were yet to officially know the outcome of their appeal for waving annual road tax and a fitness fee of a motor car owned by a war-wounded or titled freedom fighter.
BRTA treasurer Sardar Mahabubur Rahman said that the Road Transport and Highways Division would inform the matter after a gazette notification was issued in this regard.
The gazette notification would have elaboration of its modus operandi, he said.
To a query, he said that the BRTA would follow the 2003 official gazette of war-wounded freedom fighters by liberation war affairs ministry and its updates.
The number of beneficiary, according to BTRA officials, will be around 5,000-7,000.
The BRTA officials said that motor vehicles with a cylinder capacity of less than 2,500cc would only qualify for the proposed benefit.
They also said that the beneficiaries would have to apply every year for getting the special benefit as per recommendation of the Internal Resources Division to check abuse of the benefit.
The provision for renewal of application has been kept in draft proposal by the BRTA so that the benefit could be scrapped in case of a change in ownership of the vehicle.
The annual renewal fee of a motor vehicle and road tax vary depending on its cylinder capacity, the BRTA officials said. The minimum amount, however, will be around Tk 20,000, they said.
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