Truck operators are on Monday observing a nationwide strike to protest Goods and Services Tax (GST) . The strike was called by truckers’ body All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC). On October 4, AIMTC had said that truck operators will go on a two- day strike across the country from October 9. “Transporters have decided to lodge their protest against the callous and indifferent attitude of government officials, GST, diesel hike and corruption on road by observing chakka jam on October 9 and 10,” All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) President S K Mittal was quoted as saying by PTI.
Mittal had said that “contra laws” in the present GST regime has lead to coercive registration and unnecessary compliance by truckers and transporters. The sale of used business attracts GST, which leads to double taxation by the government, it added.
Another transporters body All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) had also said it will support AIMTCs call for strike as the government has failed to give any clarification on GST to transporters. “(The strike) call is given by All India Motor Transport Congress and we are supporting them,” AITWA President Pradeep Singhal said. “They (government officials) do not want us to understand the GST, they do not want to explain the GST to us, they do not want to give any clarification … and they are making it so complicated,” he alleged.
Stating that exorbitant rise in diesel prices and daily changes in rates have hit the sector, AIMTC said the government should revise the prices of diesel on quarterly basis.
Singhal said that diesel prices should be made uniform across the country and be brought down to the level of global prices. When asked it is wise to go for token strike amid the festival season, Singhal said, no chakka jam is a wise move. “It is a suicidal move. We are making a loss to ourself when we stop our vehicles on the road. After Deepavali when this season is over then we are going for an indefinite strike if the government does not listen.”
AIMTC, the apex body of transporters, claims to represent around 93 lakh truckers and around 50 lakhs bus and tourist operators, according to PTI report.