More than 90 lakh truckers will be joining a nationwide Chakka Jam from Monday onwards. They are going to protest against the issues concerning extortion at RTO barriers and the disruptive impact of the new indirect tax regime.
Harish Sabharwal, Additional Vice President (North) of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), said that the decision to protest was finalised when the negotiations with the authorities didn’t materialise. As a result of this strike, the supply of numerous commodities including food is most likely to get affected.
"We are going on a nationwide Chakka Jam today and tomorrow. Negotiations with the government did not yield any results as they did not agree to our demands. The truckers will suffer a loss of Rs 2,000 crore. We are compelled to suffer this loss," said Mr. Sabharwal.
"Our means of protest is to stop our own vehicles and suffer losses. Small truck drivers and people associated with the job cycle have also been rattled, but we will soon go an indefinite strike if the government turns a blind eye to our demands," said a member of IMTC.
The main reason behind this protest is being attributed to the disruptive policies of the Goods and Services Tax. In addition to this, the protestors are also looking forward to the inclusion of diesel under the purview of GST. The AIMTC is of the opinion that the proposed E-way Bill does not take into consideration all of the road transport issues, thus, it must be amended.
Mr. Sabharwal has stated that post-implementation of GST, a majority of states haven’t removed the RTO barrier, resultant in extortion, which has led to a “loss of over INR 80,000 crore” in bribes.
"Truckers are bearing a loss of Rs 80,000 crore as bribes to various RTO barriers which have not ceased post GST. Only four states out of 22 have agreed to remove RTO barriers. GST has been an utter failure where the government is itself confused about the tax regime. We have been bombarded with three different tax slabs," said Mr. Sabharwal.