Vashi RTO earned ` 3.58 crore from fancy num­bers last year

PRE­MIUM PRICE Screen­ing of the avail­able fancy num­bers brought trans­parency in the process

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The re­gional and trans­port of­fice (RTO) in Vashi earned Rs3.58 crore only from fancy num­bers or VIP num­bers which they is­sued to mo­torists in 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to RTO sources, a to­tal of 3,391 ve­hi­cle own­ers opted for num­bers like 111, 222, 555 among oth­ers in 2015.

The num­ber of such ve­hi­cle own­ers was just 2,766 in 2014 and the RTO earned Rs2.67 crore by is­su­ing VIP num­bers to them that year.

If a ve­hi­cle owner asks for a fancy or VIP num­ber, he or she has to pay Rs75,000 for a four­wheeler and Rs25,000 for a twowheeler. The RTO of­fi­cials had ear­lier put a tele­vi­sion screen at its Vashi of­fice dis­play­ing the fancy num­bers avail­able with them and the pre­mium price to ac­quire those num­bers. For ex­am­ple for num­ber 1 a mo­torist has to pay Rs4 lakh for a four-wheeler and Rs50,000 for a two-wheeler.

“The screen­ing of the avail­able fancy num­bers brought trans­parency in the process of is­su­ing such num­bers and also at­tracted more ve­hi­cle own­ers to buy num­bers of their choice. It re­sulted in more rev­enue for the of­fice. Mo­torists who opt for fancy and VIP num­bers are mostly busi­ness­men. Some of them are also politi­cians,” said an RTO of­fi­cial from Vashi.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cials, the rev­enue of Vashi RTO de­creased in 2013 be­cause of the lo­cal body tax (LBT) in­tro­duced in the NMMC ju­ris­dic­tion. “Sev­eral pur­chasers reg­is­tered their ve­hi­cles at other places of Maharashtra where there was no LBT. There­fore, our rev­enue gen­er­a­tion was slightly low in 2013. Still we man­aged to earn Rs2.48 crore by is­su­ing fancy or VIP num­bers,” he added.

Af­ter LBT was scrapped, more peo­ple are com­ing to reg­is­ter their ve­hi­cles at Vashi of­fice from dif­fer­ent places. In 2015, as many as 31,632 mo­torists reg­is­tered their ve­hi­cles in this of­fice as op­posed to 27,980 ve­hi­cles reg­is­tered in 2014.

“Nowa­days many peo­ple con­sider their ve­hi­cles as sta­tus sym- bol and keep chang­ing them in two to three years. Those who sell a good car just within two years to pur­chase a new one do not think much to spend a few more thou­sand ru­pees for procur­ing one VIP num­ber. We think, this is also one of the rea­sons why de­mand for such num­bers is in­creas­ing day by day,” an­other of­fi­cer said.

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