Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today refused to roll-back a recent decision to ban truck unions in Punjab, claiming that industries are “scared” of coming to the state because of these bodies. The chief minister assured a delegation of various truck unions that their interests would be protected and their views taken into account before issuing a final notification, an official said. Amarinder also tried to allay their fears that large truck operators from other states would take over businesses, saying all possible safeguards would be incorporated in the new industrial policy, the official added.
“The government has taken the decision to ban the unions conscientiously in order to save the industry, transportation of food grains and, above all, strengthen the state’s economy,” the chief minister told mediapersons after casting his vote for the presidential election at the state assembly. The chief minister also said all complaints of the truck drivers would be addressed by the sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs), but said there could be no rollback of the decision to abolish the unions as it was “in line” with several judicial verdicts.
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“The government did not take any arbitrary decision and there were three judgments of the Punjab and Haryana High Court asking the state government to take tangible steps for breaking the truck unions’ monopoly in the larger good of the society,” he added. Truck operators have been protesting against the decision of the Punjab cabinet to ban goods carriage operators from forming cartels or unions in the state.