Freight Rates Up On Vehicles Shortage

Mumbai, October 27: | Updated: Oct 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
Like commodities, there is an unusual shortage of trucks during the ongoing days of festivals. Ahead of the state-wide strike of the truckers from November 10, there is a shortage of trucks for Northern, Eastern and Western regions since past more than a fortnight. This has pushed up the truck freight rates for a nine-tonne payload vehicles from Mumbai to major destinations in a range of Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 as compared to last week.

Truckers association here is irked by the Maharashtra governments recent move to hike the on both diesel and petrol, which has pushed up their operational costs considerably. This has forced truckers not to bring back trucks from other states which have lower levies and operate only on short distances out of Mumbai.

Two, despite the ongoing festive season, truckers say there is no booking for cargo transport to various centres. Also, the possible impact of the impending strike too is forcing the truckers to keep their vehicles out of the state.

The Maharashtra Rajya Truck Tempo Tankers Bus Vahatuk Mahasangh (MRTTTBVM) president Mohinder Singh Ghura said, We are demanding the reduction sales tax levied on high speed diesel from the present prohibitive level of 40 per cent to tolerable 15.8 per cent.

Our repetitive efforts with the government to reduce the sales tax on high speed diesel, have seen to be failed and this is last resort we could found to go on agitation from midnight November 10, 2002, Mr Ghura said. Mahasangh demanded the reduction of sales tax on high speed diesel in the state, which has significantly pushed up the truckers operating costs. The Mahasangh also has threatened the government that its members will not allow any trucks, tempos and buses from other states during the strike. This will further intensify fears of rising various commodities prices in the next fortnight. Mr Ghura further said our Mahasangh comprises around 230 associations across the state and all are supporting to go on strike on the decided date.

A leading Mumbai-based truck operator Western Arya transports director Pariskhit Arya said, We have to support industry and most of the operators would join the strike.

Meanwhile, city-based transporters said, An acute shortage of truck vehicles and less arrivals from various destinations have prompted to hike the prices for various destination.