The Indian Trucking Industry is facing one of the worst crises in the last few decades due to the ongoing lockdown. The sector being one of the most crucial elements of the supply chain has borne the brunt like none others due to its volatility.

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), which is an apex body of transporters representing about 95 lakh truckers and entities, has sought for immediate government intervention in order to revive the trucking sector. The association has warned that without any relief measures, the transporters might be forced to stop operating vehicles altogether.

Fresh problems have been plaguing the Road and transport sector, with transporters reeling under dire financial crisis. In a statement issued earlier this month, AIMTC had stated that there has been no revenue generation or financial inflows as payments from parties are restrained and existing finance with the small operators as well as that of big operators is depleting fast.

The association underlined their issues and suggestions by separately addressing them to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Finance and Home Affairs respectively.

AIMTC demanded that the Road Transport Sector be explicitly defined as “Specific Segment” or “Essential Services Provider in the National Transport Policy and/or Carrier Act 2007.

The association has also appealed for a discount of 10% on FASTags on NH/State/Municipal Tolls and asked for all permit (national & state) taxes and fees to be made payable online while considering online receipt as a valid document.

AIMTC demanded a comprehensive Fiscal Package from the Ministry of Finance, under which they sought for the availability of Soft Loans bereft of Collateral and Credit Facility to Transporters by Banks and others Financial Institutions that should be ensured in a way similar to the extensions made for MSMEs.

Call for revoking TDS

The association has called for revoking the TDS from the Transport Sector. “Exempting the transport sector from paying TDS will help save lakhs of poor transporters from the ongoing exploitation arising out of the current regime of TDS on this sector,” AIMTC observed.

The association also called for stopping seizure of vehicles in view of the Judgement of the Supreme Court.

AIMTC seeks for Social Security for the people engaged in the supply chain, which has been a “long-pending demand” and demanded that payment of INR 5000 per month should be made to the drivers and their family for next 3 months.

Through the Ministry of Home Affairs, the association sought for a permanent control room in order to address issues and grievances of truckers and transporters.

It was imperative that protection against defaulters is ensured; also, governments, PSU, and large companies must be asked to make immediate payments to transporters.

“A Corruption Free, Seamless and Free Flow movement is need of the hour. The Corruption must STOP and for that, a Permanent Task Force headed by a dedicated senior officer be constituted to take up cases of harassment, corruption and coercion with zero tolerance. Unless the road transport sector of India is supported at this crucial time, it is going to be very difficult to revive to normalcy.”

~Chirag Katira, Project Head for Fight Against COVID-19, AIl India Motor Transport Congress

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) is a non-political, not-for-profit organisation and a trade body representing the Road Transport Sector of India (cargo and passenger segment).