The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) on Monday reiterated that the current scenario of transporters and the transportation industry is heading towards a major crisis if the government fails to provide a relief package immediately.
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Commenting on the plight of transporters, AIMTC said that supply of essentials as well as non essential goods is bound to take a hit, adding on problems to an already declining industry. The association pointed out that approximately 30% of the vehicles are employed at moving essential supplies in the country, noting that the nationwide lockdown has brought the industry to a standstill.
As per Kultaran Singh Atwal, President, AIMTC, “The movement of trucks, containers and other freight vehicles will not only affect the movement of goods from one state to another, but will also affect import-export. This will affect the supply of both essential and non-essential items.
The central government has announced an economic relief package for various sectors in 5 phases to revive the slowing economy due to the coronavirus epidemic. However, the central government did not take care of this sector while announcing the relief package.”
He said 95 lakh transport operators have no money to pay the staff, give loan installments, motor insurance and other fees.
“These vehicles are going to stop soon as they will not be able to pay hefty Third Party Premium, EMIs, Statutory Fees, Penalties etc. All of these have to be paid upfront without any bearing on, whether the vehicle will run, earn or not. The transport operators, big or small, cannot afford this as there is no earning,” he added.
Given the current scenario, AIMTC said that it foresees truckers being unable to pay their EMIs slated for June 1, demanding that due dates for EMIs, state tax, goods tax, motor vehicle tax and passenger tax be extended for a minimum period of six months. The association has already submitted a white paper and a revised draft of minimum rescue package to the government.
“If the government does not provide any package soon, the wheels of all vehicles carrying essential goods will stop automatically. If this happens, there will be a crisis on the availability of life-saving medicines and essentials in the country. Now driving a vehicle without insurance is risky and against law,” AIMTC said.