The Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari, has announced that the Government of India has cleared the use of GPS-based for toll collection in the country. Gadkari says that this move will ensure seamless movement of vehicles across the country, and it will also help India becomes a 'toll booth free' nation in the next two years. The Union Minister further added that with the GPS-based system the toll amount will be deducted directly from the bank account of vehicle owners, based on the movement of vehicles.
The announcement was made while Nitin Gadkari was addressing the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week Programme, sharing his views on the theme 'National Infrastructure Pipeline critical for economic revival across sectors.' In his statement, Gadkari said that he expects toll collections to reach ₹ 34,000 crore by March 2021. At the same time, he also added that by using GPS technology for toll collection, the Government's toll income in the next five years will be ₹ 1,34,000 crore. Gadkari also said that while all new commercial vehicles are coming with vehicle tracking systems, the Government will need to come up with some plan to install GPS technology in old vehicles the have a widespread effect.
At the moment, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is working towards making FASTags mandatory for all four-wheelers from January 1, 2021. This is to promote digital and IT-based payment of fees for toll collection and it will be compulsory even for old vehicles that are sold before December 1, 2017. FASTag is a prepaid tag that makes automatic deduction of toll charges that is operated by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). The step taken by the central government will ensure payment of fees is done at the toll booths via electronics means only, which will make vehicle passing a seamless process through toll plazas.