Truckers associated with the All India Motor Transport Congress called off their nationwide strike at the end of the eighth day of their protest on Friday, ANI reported. The All India Motor Transport Congress said the government had promised to consider their demands. Road Transport Secretary YS Malik thanked the stakeholders for suspending their protest.
The transporters demanded a reduction in central and state levies on diesel by bringing it under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax, a reduction in third-party premiums and oppose the toll collection system, which they claim causes a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh crore annually.
“Their role in keeping the economy on track is integral,” Malik said. “We will try our best to solve their problems at the earliest.”
Earlier on Friday, the All India Motor Transport Congress said that its core committee held an emergency meeting on Thursday, and resolved to “suspend all operations voluntarily”, PTI reported. “With every passing day it [the strike] is getting stronger and all this has been possible because of the resolve that this time it is a ‘do or die’ situation,” Core Committee Chairperson Bal Malkit Singh said.
He claimed that transporters had lost Rs 28,000 crore in seven days, and demanded government intervention to address their demands.
The strike has affected the automobile industry. “The transport strike is affecting domestic movement of both parts and vehicles,” Ford India President Anurag Mehrotra said. “We expect it to soon impact exports too.”
“Given its impact on not just business but livelihoods, we urge the government and the associations to resolve this matter soon,” he added.
However, the supply of essential commodities has been excluded from the strike. “There has not been much impact on supply and prices of onion and garlic due to the truckers’ strike in Maharashtra,” Onion and Potato Traders Association General Secretary Rajendra Sharma said. “Prices are stable in mandis here [in New Delhi’s Azadpur Mandi].”