The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has raised its voice against the hike in fuel prices in the country, stating that this increase has started to hamper their operations, and transporters may have no option but to suspend their activities if the government makes no move to curtail the increase in prices.
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According to the AIMTC, which is a representative body of more than 95 lakh truckers and transporters in the country, “There is acute resentment among the road transport fraternity of India and we foresee major disruption in the offing. The road transport fraternity of India strongly protests against the historic hikes in diesel, that are brazen and are making operations unviable. It is resulting in large scale shutting down of operations, loss of livelihood in this sector.”
The association’s protest comes due to the hike in diesel prices in New Delhi, which surpassed petrol prices, a first in a long time. Diesel in Delhi is priced at Rs. 79.88 per litre, meanwhile petrol stands at Rs. 79.76 per litre. Commenting on the same, Kultaran Singh Atwal, President, AIMTC, said, “If the rollback of diesel prices is not effected immediately the road transport sector will have no option but to suspend operations.”
As per the association, the continuous hike in fuel prices, coupled with the economic impact due to COVID-19 pandemic, has led to more than 65% of trucks in the country sit idle off the roads. Moreover, unchecked corruption and absence of relief packages has increased the discomfort in the trucking community. Talking about the woes of the trucking community, Atwal added, “In the present scenario, on the one hand there is economic slowdown, and there is no demand. To add to it rising fuel cost has increased operations costs by 20-25 per cent, and corruption on the highways is taking a toll on this sector, leading to further idling of vehicles.”
Highlighting the problems and the demands of the transportation industry, the AIMTC said, “Trucks, small fleet owners operations have now become more unviable due to daily fuel price hikes.”
“The daily fluctuations and variances in prices across the country could not be absorbed in freight and result in negative cash flow for the operators. The road transport sector is devastated due to back-to back lockdowns amid Covid pandemic and closure of economy. Demand is not yet normalised,” the AIMTC added.
“The road transport fraternity of India demand from the government to roll back of fuel price hike and rationalisation of taxes on fuel and uniform rate of diesel across the country besides monthly or quarterly revision in fuel prices,” it demanded.