Economy

Ministry dilutes penalty provisions in Carriage by Road rules

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 09, 2011 Published on March 09, 2011

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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has diluted some of the penalty provisions proposed in the draft notification of Carriage by Road rules. The Ministry notified the rules with effect from March 1 – over three years after the Carriage by Road Act was notified.

The implementation of this Act was opposed vehemently by the transport intermediaries, or the goods booking agents.

Despite the dilution in penalty provisions, the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has already started opposing the implementation of this Act.

The new rules say that whenever a common carrier violates provisions provided in the Act, it has to suspend the business for a week.

But, in the draft rules notified by the Ministry on June 15, 2010, the Ministry had suggested more stringent penalties — suspension of business for two weeks in the first violation, one month for second violation and cancellation of licence, in case of the third violation.

“This shall encourage habitual offenders among common carriers without any threat of exit from the business despite repeated violations,” stated the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), a transport research body.

Definition

The Carriage by Road Act defines the relationship of common carriers – such as goods booking companies, transport contractor, agents, brokers, courier or logistics firms, packers and movers — with consignors/consignees such as traders, manufacturers, distributors of goods.

The Act explains the responsibilities, duties and liabilities of common carrier in case of loss or damage to the goods, which have been accepted by the common carrier for delivery to the agreed destination by road.

IFTRT estimates that at present there are over 2.5 lakh such common carriers in the country, who claim to control 85 per cent of the cargo moved on the roads. They handle an annual freight revenue of almost Rs 3,50,000 crore.

REGISTRATION

“Now these firms have to apply for a registration within 90 days notification of Carriage by Road rules 2011 or by May 31.

“The common carriers shall cease to engage in such business of collecting, storing, forwarding or distributing goods accepted for transportation by road from consignors after August 31,” IFTRT stated.

The common carriers shall have to maintain a quarterly record of the transaction in its registers to be kept at main office and branch offices.

Additionally, they will have to submit the summary of entries to the Government, which in turn shall help the planners to accurately track the movement of goods on roads, it added.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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