Truck operators’ nationwide indefinite strike called by their umbrella body AIMTC received a mixed response on the second day. Transporters yesterday started a nationwide indefinite strike and their demands include a reduction in central and state taxes by getting diesel under the GST so that price of the deregulated commodity can be reduced.
According to reports, the strike was more effective in the financial capital Mumbai, while in other parts of the country, including Delhi, it showed some impact on the second day.
“The day two consolidated the Chakkajam in the entire country and there have been very positive reports from across the country and all state, district and taluk level associations and unions and their members’ extended unstinting support to this movement,” claimed All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) Core Committee President Bal Malkit Singh. He said the industry has started to feel the pinch and pegged the losses at Rs 4,000 crore a day.
“We have inputs from across the country that there was total suspension of operations in Delhi- NCR, Maharashtra, Gujarat, entire South India, Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and J&K,” Singh said.
AIMTC further claimed that the transportation services to and from the port, refineries, harbours and movement from petrochemical units, white goods, FMCG, Steel, Coal, Cement, Granite, and other industrial units have been stopped.
“It is a steadfast resolve of the AIMTC leadership that mere assurances will not suffice this time. Till date there are no reconciliatory talks or indication from the Government to resolve the issues with immediate tangible results. The movement will get intensified in days to come,” he said.
Essential commodities have been kept out of the strike.
AIMTC claims that about 93 lakh trucks are affiliated to the body. The Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), however said the strike has a partial impact so far in the country, including in the national capital. Apart from demanding reduction in diesel prices, truckers are also against the “flawed and non-transparent” toll collection system that favours road concessioners and alleged that the time and fuel loss goes up to Rs 1.5 trillion annually on account of it.
Truckers are also miffed at high insurance premia and want a reduction in third-party premium, exemption on third-party premia from GST.
Apart from this, they are also pressing for exemptions and abolition of indirect taxes, national permits for all buses and trucks and also doing away with the direct port delivery tendering system.