Truckers began their 36-hour nationwide strike on Monday to protest the Goods and Services Tax, exorbitant diesel prices and “corruption” on roads. The All India Motor Transport Congress, which announced the strike on October 4, claims to represent around 93 lakh truckers.
The strike will be in place till 8 pm on Tuesday.
“Transporters have decided to lodge their protest against the callous and indifferent attitude of government officials, the Goods and Services Tax, diesel price hike and corruption on roads by observing a ‘chakka jam’ [road blockade] on October 9 and 10,” All India Motor Transport Congress President SK Mittal had said in New Delhi.
Mittal said that some of the laws under the new tax regime had led to coercive registration and unnecessary compliance by truckers and transporters.
The transport body has also called for bringing diesel under the ambit of the GST. It wants diesel prices to be revised on a quarterly basis and made uniform across the country, instead of the current system.
The All India Transporters Welfare Association, another transporters’ body, is supporting the strike. Its president, Pradeep Singhal, said truckers may go on an indefinite strike after Diwali if the government does not address their concerns, NDTV reported.
The transporters also claimed that corruption on roads had assumed “great proportions”. All India Motor Transport Congress Chairperson Kultaran Singh Atwal demanded that traffic police be allowed to issue penalties only with electronically verifiable proof. Singh also suggested that traffic police be disallowed from stopping vehicles on the road, unless there are specific intelligence inputs.