e-Payment facility for truckers on the anvil

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In a move benefitting about 4.5 lakh truck owners, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is tying up with three banks in order to facilitate e-payment of the INR 15,000 national permit fee from any part of India.

While the deal with the State Bank of India and ICICI Bank has almost been finalised, talks are on with HDFC Bank, said an official in the ministry, who did not wish to be identified.

In fact, the ministry proposes to make this e-payment facility available from April 1, 2010. The entire procedure is expected to begin with the creation of a web portal at the ministry itself, which will then be linked with the individual portals that are created by the three banks.

Apart from being faster and hassle free, it is also expected to be a more transparent system, which will eventually rid the regional transport offices of the charges of corruption that are levelled against its officials.

The decision to start with three banks initially has been made to keep up the competitive spirit, and once it is launched, we will eventually look at spreading the process to other banks too, said the ministry official. However, the process is expected to take a while as each of the state government will individually have to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the banks.

The banks, which are involved in this e-payment scheme are expected to get some comfort from the RBI for the same. The e-payment scheme is a part of the ministry’s efforts at introducing e-governance in motor transport.

Other such schemes include the INR 148 crore project attempted at creating a national register from the state registers which are further formed by migrating all the vehicle data from the regional transport office (RTO) to a single location. At present, the process of creating a state register is half-way through in about 12-13 states.

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