The government of India has again extended the date of mandatory Fastag for your vehicle from January 1. Reports suggests that the new deadline is set to February 15. A few days earlier, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari announced that FASTag would be mandatory for all cars from January 1. However, reports further indicate a large number of commuters have still not issued FASTag.
Currently, the share of transactions by FASTag lanes is hovering around 75 and 78 percent, forcing government to postpone the order again. This is not the first time government has extended the deadline for the mandatory use of Fastags in India.
FASTag was launched in 2016 and four banks together issued nearly a lakh of them. The numbers went up to seven lakh in 2017 and more than 34 lakh FASTags were issued in 2018. In November this year, the ministry issued a notification making FASTag mandatory from January 1, 2021 for old vehicles or that were sold before December 1, 2017.
As per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, since December 1, 2017, FASTag had been made mandatory for registration of new four-wheelers. It was also mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate of a transport vehicle will be done only after the vehicle concerned has a FASTag.
For National Permit vehicles, the fitment of FASTag was mandated since October 1, 2019. A valid FASTag would be made compulsory for getting a new third party insurance. This would come into force from April 1, 2021.
The ministry said that steps for ensuring availability of FASTag through multiple channels are being taken. They would be available at physical locations as well as online, The National Toll Collection (NETC) programme has been implemented on a pan-India basis in order to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of user fee as per the notified rates using passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.