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Truckers to go off roads from Monday

Friday, June 15, 2018
By A Staff Reporter

Association claims over 80 lakh trucks across the country will be part of the strike

Calling a nation-wide indefinite strike from June 18, All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association (ACOGOA) has put forth three demands for the government to resolve. The protest is against the rise and fluctuations in diesel prices, toll charges and third party insurance rates. The strike was announced at a a press conference yesterday.

The association has claimed that over 80 lakh trucks across the country will be part of the strike. However, since they don't want to cause any inconvenience to the public, trucks carrying essential commodities like vegetables and pulses, around 3 per cent of the number, will continue to ply normally. The truckers are expected to suffer a loss of Rs 2,400 crore per day. “Though we will be inconvenienced and so will the industries that depend on transportation of goods, it is important for the message to be sent across to the government,” said Rajinder Singh, general secretary, ACOGOA.

A major issue faced by the truckers across the nation is that though the diesel prices are rising, the freight transportation prices are not.  So, the truckers are unable to pass on the financial load and are facing the hardships. “The truckers have to pay Rs 8 per litre (plus VAT) as cess for road infrastructure while buying diesel and an additional Rs 8 per km as toll charge. We request the central government to withdraw these taxes immediately,” he added.

Since the fuel prices change depending on the international market, on occasions when the prices do down, taxes are increased to save the government from loses. However, truckers have to face the burn, along with other consumers. “We should not be treated as sources of revenue. It is unfair,” said Mohinder Singh Ghura, convenor, Maharashtra Rajya Motor Malik Sangh.

“There has been a significant hike in third party premiums since 2002. We have requested the government to stop increasing it on an year after year as this premium is mandatory for the vehicles and it causing a financial burden on the truckers,” said Singh. The association has requested de-tarrif of the premium, fixing a cap on the amount.

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