IRF proposes GST exemption on helmets to promote usage.

According to HTAuto report, the International Road Federation (IRF) has submitted a proposal to the government, urging the removal of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on helmets. IRF has expressed concern over the increasing number of deaths among two-wheeler riders due to non-compliance in helmet use. They are requesting exemption from GST for helmets, with the hope that such a decision will increase road safety. Currently, the price of helmets in India attracts 18 percent GST.

According to a recent report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), there were more than 461,000 road accidents in India in 2022, leading to 168,000 deaths. Of these, about 50,029 people who lost their lives were riding two-wheelers without helmets. More than 70 percent of the casualties involved two-wheeler riders.

While India has a law mandating the use of helmets for two-wheeler riders, violation of this rule is a common occurrence. It is not limited to small towns only but is prevalent in major Indian cities as well.

The report also highlights that many two-wheeler riders choose the cheapest helmets available, which in some cases do not meet safety standards in the event of an accident. Emphasizing the importance of removing GST from helmets, the IRF President said that this standard will make helmets more affordable for the general public and discourage the purchase of low quality helmets.

Section 129 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 makes the use of helmet mandatory for all two-wheeler riders. Violating this traffic rule can attract a fine of up to Rs 1,000 in Delhi and for repeated violations, the driver's driving license can be suspended for three months.

The rate of non-compliance with helmet use is very high in the national capital Delhi. According to Delhi Police data cited in the report, fines worth more than Rs 100,000 were imposed on two-wheeler drivers within the first four months of the current calendar year.

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