Lack of Budget announcements leaves transport sector unhappy

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on February 02, 2020

Operators had been hoping for revocation of TDS, rationalisation of presumptive tax and rescheduling of EMI payments

The apex body representing transporters is upset over the lack of Budget announcements for the industry. The sector, which has been facing some distress amid poor cargo demand, reduced freight rates and idling of vehicles, had been hoping for relief.

Despite assurances given earlier by both Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, there was no mention of the revocation of tax deducted at source (TDS), rationalisation of presumptive tax and rescheduling of EMI payments for truckers in the Budget, said Kultaran Singh Atwal, President, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC).

Nationwide agitation

“By clearly ignoring the basic demands of the transport community, the government is once again forcing the road transport community to go for a nationwide agitation,” he told BusinessLine. The AIMTC represents the interests of nearly two crore truckers as well as bus, tourist taxi and maxi cab operators, employing around 20 crore people.

“We are deeply distressed by the government’s harsh and negative attitude towards the road transport sector. The operating costs are rising due to the government’s skewed policies and exerting excessive stress on small operators,” he said.

Atwal further said that not a single benefit has been given. The road transport fraternity is agitated and unhappy as the Budget doesn’t meet the expectations not only of the people working in the sector, but also those of the common man. “It will have serious consequences in the coming times. It is a big no-show for the road transport sector. Once again, the Government of India has filled the road transport sector with rage and angst by neglecting it,” he added.

Nearly two crore trucks criss-cross the country. About 85 per cent of them belong to single-vehicle owners. With a decrease in freight demand due to the economic slowdown, truck fleet utilisation has dropped by nearly 40 per cent on all major routes, say truckers.

Published on February 02, 2020

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