As India Inc supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s battle against black money, the ASSOCHAM has urged the government to consider among other relief measures, increasing the cash withdrawal limits for logistic and transport fleet owners since they need hard cash for meeting expenses for crew members including truck drivers and cleaners.
Drawing inputs from various sources, a latest ASSOCHAM study on Transport and Logistics has noted that close to 10 percent of the en route expenses of trucks on trunk routes are accounted for by drivers and other support crew for the journeys which take seven to eight days on a single trip.
“The entire expenses of the drivers and other crew are to be met by cash. In the wake of the demonetisation of high value notes, the fleet owners are facing problems of operations,” said the ASSOCHAM.
While the fuel accounts for 52-66 percent of the total trip expenses, another 25-40 percent is to be accounted for sub heads like tolls, octroi, speedy clearance at check posts etc.
“Traditionally, all this money was required in cash. The driver also acts as a petty cashier. The note ban has come as a bottleneck to the transport business,” it added.
The ASSOCHAM has also urged the government to review the cash withdrawal limit of Rs. 50,000 from the current account per week and raise it to minimum Rs. four to five lakh, which is bare minimum.
Besides, the fleet owners face other problems which need to be resolved for improving the overall efficiency of the fleet owners and ease of doing business.
“Faster turnaround of trucks alone in the absence of check posts may improve the operational efficiency of the road transport sector,” it added.
Presently, there are 177 inter-state check posts and 268 toll barriers on national highways. The ASSOCHAM study suggested that to promote seamless inter-state freight flows; green channel should be adopted for transit of secure/sealed containerized cargo.
About 75 percent of trucking firms own small fleets of less than five trucks. The industry has largely been operating in an unorganised sector and has not really taken to the main stream.