Private transporters in Jammu & Kashmir announced on Wednesday their decision to suspend truck and tankers services in the state, citing that their demands have not been met by the UT administration. The association has said that they are open to negotiations with the administration, and that the government is to be held accountable for any shortage in essential supplies due to this suspension.
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The transporters have been asking for an economic package to revive the industry and compensate for the losses incurred by them due to the COVID-19 crisis. Along with that, they have expressed their displeasure over the government’s move to increase the road tax for vehicles that have been registered before August 3, 2019.
As per T S Wazir, Chairman, All J&K Transport Welfare Association, “Jammu and Kashmir has received a new gift in the shape of double token tax at a time of COVID crisis after the recent increase in rate of tax on sale of petrol and diesel, while no attention is paid on our genuine demands. As a mark of protest, we are stopping our tanker and truck service from tomorrow (Thursday). The government should be held responsible if there is any shortage of the essential commodities.”
Wazir, who led a strong protest demonstration for the second straight day in Jammu, accused the administration of forcing them on the roads and reiterated that “we have kept our doors open for negotiations”.
Apart from a relief package for drivers and helpers, the association has also been asking the government to provide them relief in the form of revision in passenger fares and freight charges by at least 50%. They have also requested the government to waive off interest on the loans taken by transporters for vehicles, insurance and other fees during the nationwide lockdown.