As coronavirus ravages trucking business, transport associations are leading a charge to call government attention to the impact of the pandemic and demand a slew of measures to save, the already stressed trucking industry.
With entire nation in lock-down mode, even businesses in essential services are seeing supply chain disruptions due to closed borders. Trucks are lying idle at the borders for the past 7 days and the drivers are stranded without food, water and basic amenities.
All India Motor Transport Congress, the representative body of the road transport sector in India has urged the central government to take immediate measures to save the livelihood of 20 crore people who are dependent on this sector.
In a letter to finance ministry, the AIMTC mentioned the following demands;
“Deferment of EMI:
Extension of validity with respect to statutory compliance:
No penal action on expiry of E-Way Bill for goods-in-transit:
Due to the sealing of borders and lockdown being strictly enforced by the Central & State Governments, the trucks with goods are stranded on the highways. In such conditions the e-way bills for goods-in-transit are getting expired and could not be renewed. The e-way bill could not be extended because of closed offices/ warehouses and unavailability of staff.
Hence, the GST department shall not penalise transporters for non-renewal of e-way bill.”
Further, the industry body has urged the State/ Central Governments, Transport fraternity/ NGOs to help the stranded drivers at the state borders by providing food, water and essential items. They also suggest immediate release of all the trucks as they cannot carry essential goods till they unload non-essential items.
“If the government can discuss bailout packages for Telecom and Aviation industry, why can’t they propose a stimulus package for Transport industry – the lifeline of Indian economy, which feeds close to 20 Crore people? ” asks Mr. Manoj, an active member of AIMTC.
Will the government bail out businesses in road transport, drivers and workers?