Truckers’ nationwide strike enters sixth day, gets mixed response

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The nationwide transporters strike received mixed response from various parts of the country on the sixth consecutive day today, amid continued deadlock between truckers union AIMTC and the government. Transporters demands include a reduction in central and state taxes by getting diesel under the GST so that price of the deregulated commodity can be reduced. The government has not initiated any negotiations and deadlock continues. We will intensify our agitation, AIMTC Core Committee Chairman Bal Malkit Singh said. He claimed that the transporters loss stood at Rs 24,000 in the six days and urged governments intervention for tangible resolution of the issues. Essential commodities have been kept out of the strike. The Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), however, said that the strike has failed to make much impact. Apart from demanding reduction in diesel prices, truckers are also against the flawed and non-transparent toll collection system that favours road concessioners and alleged that the time and fuel loss amounts to up to Rs 1.5 trillion annually on account of it. Truckers are also miffed at high insurance premia and want a reduction in third-party premium, exemption on third-party premia from GST. Apart from this, they are also pressing for exemptions and abolition of indirect taxes, national permits for all buses and trucks and also doing away with the direct port delivery tendering system.