3 lakh truckers remain off roads across C’garh

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Oct 2017 10:24:17


Staff Reporter,


Nation-wide strike call has been given by All India Motor Transport Congress to protest GST

Wheels of nearly 3 lakh trucks remained standstill, as the truckers in unison from across the Chhattisgarh state joined the
two-day nationwide strike to protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST), diesel price hike and corruption on highway toll booths.

The country-wide strike call has been given by All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the top parent body of transporters, which represents around 93 lakh truckers and around 50 lakhs bus and tourist operators across India.
The 36-hour shutdown of truck operators and owners also affected the loading and unloading of goods to the tune of several crores in this mineral-rich state, even as the supply of perishable goods and other daily needs like vegetables-fruits and milk were also affected partially on the day one.

“The strike would continue on Tuesday as well. We, the truck owners and operators, are demanding for bringing the diesel under new GST ambit, whereas we are concurrently protesting discrepancies and anomalies in the new indirect tax regime,” Trilok Singh, President of Chhattisgarh Truck Maalik Sangh (CTMS) in Raipur told The Hitavada.

CTMS represents business interests of over 3000 trucks in the state. The strike call by AIMTC has been supported unanimously by over 50 registers truck owners and operators association in Chhattisgarh, including Bastar Parivahan Sangh (BPS) which has sizeable presence in south Chhattisgarh.

Singh, however, was not quite optimistic that the government would pay any heed to the demands of truckers. “This government would never come to our terms, when it comes to meet the demands of truckers. However, a further course of our (truckers) action would be decided by the top mandarins of AIMTC,” he added.

Singh, who himself is a transporter, explained that the government has turned insensitive towards truckers and transporters ever since it introduced GST. “This 36-hour long strike is merely a token protest aimed at warning the government to come with some clarification on new tax regime,” he added.

The CTMS President also underlined that the spiralling price for diesel has also adversely affect the sector. He strongly advocated that diesel must be brought under GST to ensure uniformity of fuel pricing across the country while hinting that the truck operators may resort to indefinite strike if the government fails to take their token strike ultimatum seriously.