3 Dec :In order to encourage more people to use public transport, Urban Development Ministry on Wednesday demanded abolition of excise duty on public buses.
"We have submitted a proposal for reducing the excise duty on buses meant for public transportation to zero level to the Finance Ministry," Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy said in New Delhi while addressing the National Conference on JNNURM and Urban Mobility India 2008.
"Last year it was reduced to 12 per cent from 16 per cent. But we want it zero per cent to encourage public buses as a mode of popular transportation in cities," Reddy said.
Pointing out that most of the cities do not have an organised city bus service, he said movement of goods and people has been facing several problems of congestion, pollution and accidents, coupled with lack of coordination among various agencies.
"Unless these are remedied, poor transportation of goods and people can become a major hurdle to economic growth and cause deterioration to the quality of life," he said.
Stressing the need to switch over from personal vehicles to public transport, Reddy said "If we provide attractive options of public transport it will persuade the urban commuters to shift voluntarily to the public transport systems."