Indefinite truck strike begins; loss estimated at Rs 4K cr a day

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 20, 2018 11:45 AM IST

Mumbai: Millions of truckers from across the country are set to go on an indefinite strike from today, demanding a slew of actions from government, including lowering diesel prices and toll fees, a union leader said.

Unionised truckers claim over 9.3 million members and the strike was announced on 17 May.

The government is engaged in last ditch efforts to persuade truckers in the highly road transport concentrated economy not to go ahead with their call, officials said.

"We held a meeting with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari yesterday but that was inconclusive. We also met Finance Minister Piyush Goyal," Bal Malkit Singh, chairman of the All-India Motor Transport Congress core committee, told PTI over phone.

However, he sounded sceptical if any solution can be found during the late night meeting and added that the strike will go on as announced.

Singh stated that the likely loss on a normal day would be at Rs 4,000 crore for them.

Singh said 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 not happy with the high insurance premia and want a reduction in third-party premium, exemption on third- party premia from GST, he added.

Apart from this, they also press for exemptions and abolition of direct taxes, national permits for all buses and trucks and also doing away with the direct port delivery tendering system, he said.

When contacted, an official close to Gadkari's office said during the meeting, transporters were told that instant solutions cannot be found to their demands but assured them the government is looking at all the demands sensitively.

"We are very open to look into all their issues and hope that better sense prevails," the ministry official said.

TRUCKERS' DEMANDS

Reduction in Central and State taxes

Getting diesel under GST