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The railway ministry has issued a letter to its zonal offices clarifying the charges levied by the transporter after complaints from the Defence Ministry about discrepancies in rates for military traffic. In the letter dated November 27, the railway board said they had received communication from the defence authority about the lack of parity in charges across zones. "Reference has been received from the defence authority stating that different practises are being followed over zonal railways regarding charging in case of military traffic.
The matter has been examined," the letter read. In its letter, the Army had raised concerns regarding difference in rates across zones and charges being levied despite exemption for military traffic. The letter from the defence ministry said 20 per cent haulage surcharge was being levied on its traffic but the charge is applicable only on railway-owned wagons and not on the defence-owned ones. The railway clarified that the charge was not applicable on military-owned wagons according to the rules. It said charges related to loading, unloading, sorting and detention of rolling stock of military special trains will be similar to the charges applicable for public traffic. The railways made it clear that defence and military equipment are exempt from the GST after concerns were raised over the tax being levied on military traffic by certain zones. It said military traffic was not exempt from busy season charge and development surcharge, which the defence ministry said should not be levied. The railway board, however, said neither can the railways raise any debit nor can the defence authority expect a refund for transactions carried out in the past.
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