Truck operators, led by All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), on Monday took to the streets to begin theirtwo-day nationwide protest against the Goods and Services tax (GST), the hike in diesel prices and corruption on roads.
Re-iterating the Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s wish to include diesel under the ambit of GST, truckers said diesel must be brought under GST to ensure “uniformity of fuel pricing across the country”.
"Transporters have decided to protest against the callous and indifferent attitude of government officials, GST, diesel price hike and corruption on roads by observing a token 'chakka jam' (strike) on October 9 and 10," said AIMTC president SK Mittal.
AIMTC, represents around 93 lakh truckers and around 50 lakhs bus and tourist operators across India. Thestrike is likely to affect the supply of commodities.
Truck dealers have expressed displeasureat the "contra laws" in the GST regime that has led to “coercive registration and unnecessary compliance by truckers and transporters”. He added that the sale of used business which attracts GST, leads to double taxation by the government.
Other transporters’ bodies like the All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) said that it will supportAIMTC's strike as the government has failed to clarify GST to transporters.
The strike comes bang in the middle of the festive season when transporter bodies usually make a good profit. Calling it a “suicidal move”, transport dealers said that they are goingon strike for two days despite making losses. However, if the government does not listen, dealers said they will go on an indefinite strike.
The protest by truck dealers comes just days ahead of the proposed nationwide strike by petrol pump dealers on October 13, to press for various demands including better margins and inclusion of petroleum products in the Goods and Services Tax.