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U.P. slashes VAT on bicycles

The Hindu, New Delhi, September 15, 2014

 

Aimed at promoting cycling, the green, eco-friendly and cheap mode of transport, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday announced exemption of VAT on bicycles priced below Rs.3,500. “A large number of population in the State uses bicycles as their mode of conveyance specially farmers, labourers, students and the poor and is used in both urban and rural areas…It is most necessary to give impetus to the economic growth of poor and weaker sections of society,” an official statement said. “Therefore, keeping in view the welfare of these sections, the State government has decided to lower the cost of bicycles…It is also a mode of travel which is pollution free and helps in fitness,” it said. Interestingly, cycle is also the election symbol of the ruling Samajwadi Party and recently Mr. Yadav announced that in urban planning, greater use of cycle would be ensured by a making special provision of cycle tracks in all major cities and towns.

 

In a recent review meeting, the Chief Minister asked senior officials of Noida, Greater Noida, Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) and Agra Development Authority to build cycle tracks in these cities on priority basis. The State government is also likely to promote use of bicycles in major tourist destinations like Varanasi and Allahabad where roads are congested. Back from a business trip to the Netherlands, Mr. Yadav is said to be keen in promoting use of bicycles in cities in a big way. He wants all cities should have rent-a-bicycle facility so that people, especially tourists, can hire a cycle to move around in the city. , thus making the city less congested and help in reducing environment pollution. Use of cycle could also be made an integral part of the Metro rail development in major cities, a senior official said. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister met Dutch Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and discussed areas of cooperation with the Dutch government in agro, food-processing and dairy technology.