India owes London 4.4m pounds
LONDON: The Indian high commission has moved into the top 5 of the list of London- based f oreign missions who owe authorities there over £95 million in ‘congestion charge’, introduced in 2003 to reduce traffic congestion and raise funds for the transport system.
The congestion charge means every vehicle entering a zone in central London marked by the letter ‘C’ must pay £11.50 a day from Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm (emergency vehicles exempt). Failure to pay invites a £130 penalty.
But the missions of India and nearly 70 countries — dubbed a “stubborn minority” — have refused to pay the “tax”, citing exemption under the Vienna Convention.
This is disputed by Transport for London (TfL), a government body that believes it is not a tax but a charge for a “service”, and as such, foreign missions are not exempt. The impasse has continued over the years with the overall dues amounting to £97,048,600.
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