Saturday, April 17, 2021

Once Again The Quixotic Issue of Vehicle Ownership Transfer

The Don Quixotes are at it again, according to a report in the Business Bhutan newspaper of this morning!

It is amazing how such a simple problem remains unresolved for decades.

As I said in one of my earlier posts, Bhutan is brimming with people with brains oozing out of their earlobes – but we have precious few with any minds. Strangely even when things are pointed out to them, they remain oblivious and thick-skinned!

The issue of the vehicle ownership transfer remains unresolved simply because people at the helm of things are unwilling to apply their minds – perhaps they have none to apply. And, because of that, the country has been losing sizeable revenue year after year, for the past many, many decades.

The problem is simple: the RSTA is endeavoring to collect tax where no tax should be due.  The process of transferring vehicle ownership is an administrative process and thus no tax should be levied. Only a token fee should be applicable – for a clerical job that takes no more than 5 minutes.

As long as a vehicle’s road worthiness is proven, as long as the vehicle is proven to be owned by a Bhutanese who has proof that he/she has paid his/her annual road tax to earn the right to ply the vehicle on the Bhutanese roads, and as long as the vehicle is certified to meet the emission standards prescribed by the regulatory authorities, RSTA should have no problem. The problem arises when the RSTA decides, illogically, that additional revenue can be earned from the transfer of vehicles – when they had already collected the prescribed taxes at the start of each year, from every road-worthy vehicle.

Frankly this issue is not a problem but a stupidity. Simply rationalize the vehicle transfer fee and people will come flocking like bees to nectar. I have to be a prize idiot to agree to pay 1% transfer tax. Transfer paper work does not involve so much work that it should attract 1% of the value of the vehicle.

If the RSTA and the Royal Government of Bhutan are hell-bent on victimizing the citizens, the simplest way would be to introduce a new law prohibiting none-owners from driving a vehicle that is not registered in his/her name. If not I cannot see how the RSTA can have the authority to prohibit a legitimately registered vehicle from plying the Bhutanese roads.

A vehicle earns the right to be driven on the road network of Bhutan – not because of the face value of who is behind the wheel, but because all prescribed taxes and levies that are the RGoB’s just dues - have been paid in full.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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