Interstate travel more than halved after GST: TN lorry owners

By Balasubramani Muniyandi Published on Jul 05, 2018 01:07 PM IST

Chennai: GST introduced on 1 July last year had a significant impact on all trade, but the immediate noteable effect was felt on the transport industry which infact affects all other trades.

Speaking to News Today, Tamilnadu Lorry Owners Federation president R Sugumar said after the implementation of GST the lorry owners have been facing huge losses.

"Many lorry owners have even left the job and have moved on to a new work. Before the new tax system was introduced 50,000 vehicles would commute from the State to other parts of the country, but now it has come down to around 20,000," he said. He further said every month the lorry owners have to shell out 13 per cent of their income as GST.

"Considering the amount we spend on fuel and tolls, a lorry owner gets a profit of only five per cent which will not be sufficient enough to sustain in the business," he added.

He said there is no clarity on how the taxes are collected from the operators.

"Even to buy a new lorry we have to give close to 60 per cent of the value as GST (including the taxes collected for insurance, permit and registration). As if this is not worse enough, even for the finance we get buy a vehicle, we have to pay taxes," he said.

He added that even to sell a lorry, the owner has pay 12 per cent GST and this concept could not be understood.

He was also quick to point out the few benefits of GST and said the zero bill transportation which was big problem has come down by 80 per cent. He also said the transit time has come down significantly.

"There is transparency in the transaction but the clarity is not there yet. Most drivers and lorry owners are not briefed till now. The E-permit too seems have to brought in some sort of respite as long queues of trucks and heavy vehicles at State borders have disappeared as check posts were dismantled, creating a seamless national market and benefiting the consumers.

There are a total of 4.5 lakh lorries in Tamilnadu and around 30,000 have stopped operations completely after the introduction of GST. Those that are running are also running with minimum profit.