News

Opposing toll system, truckers begin a country-wide strike

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on October 01, 2015

Bhim Wadhwa, President of AIMTC

“The strike is likely to cause Rs 1,500 crore losses to truckers and over Rs 10,000 crore loss to government." File Photo   -  The Hindu

AIMTC terms toll system a tool of harassment and demands one-time payment of taxes besides simplification of TDS.

Trucks have stopped loading and unloading goods, except for a few essentials, across the country in protest against the toll fees and the government’s decision to deduct two per cent tax at source, according to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC).

The transporters’ union, which says its members own 87 lakh trucks, had called for an indefinite strike starting October 1.

Transporters say that the government should collect road user fee or toll from truckers through indirect taxes, instead of collecting the funds at toll plazas.

“We are not against paying tolls. But, we are also harassed near toll plazas. Moreover, the government has also been collecting a lot of money from us through the cess,” said Bhim Wadhwa, President, AIMTC, adding that the BJP had spoken about having toll-free roads when it came to power.

Wadhwa told BusinessLine that the strike is more of “ Jan Hit Andolan” (pro-people movement) wherein they want removal of “toll plazas”.

SP Singh, Senior Fellow of Indian Foundation for Transport Research and Training, however, said a clearer picture of the strike’s impact would emerge over the next few days.

“Usually the effectiveness of transport strikes becomes clearer over a few days. Some States, such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and some centres in Tamil Nadu, have seen some impact today. Tomorrow (October 2) being a national holiday, there is unlikely to be loading/unloading activity,” said Singh.

Some of the large, organised transport players did not respond to BusinessLine’s queries on whether there had been any impact on their operations.

Toll plazas

In effect, AIMTC says its demand is not limited to seamless transport across toll plazas – which can be met through implementation of electronic toll collection – but also included toll charges imposed on truckers.

While the demand to have an electronic toll collection can be implemented faster, changing the level of toll charges is difficult to implement, says experts.

“A trucker operating on the New Delhi-Bengaluru route has to pay ₹21,000 as toll. A trucker operating within NCR will pay a maximum of ₹800. It is difficult to define a common toll rate for truckers,” said Singh.

Truckers are also concerned over two per cent tax deducted at source and are seeking a roll-back. However, Singh said this move affects only those truck owners who own more than 10 trucks, adding that in India, over 90 per cent truck-owners have less than 10 trucks.

Published on October 01, 2015

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
null
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.