Transport sector is facing losses of around Rs 315 crore per day due to coronavirus restrictions in the country. The chairman-core committee and former president of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) Bal Malkit Singh said that restrictions by the state government have started affecting the transport sector.
"The shops are closed except those dealing with essential items, restrictions by the state government have started affecting the transport sector. The sector is facing a loss of 315 crores rupees per day due to the restrictions across the country," said Malkit Singh to news agency ANI.
Demand for trucks has dropped by around 50 per cent across the country, said Singh. "The demand for trucks has been curtailed which as per our assessment is down by 50 per cent across the country. As far as the transport facilities are concerned, medical goods like personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, medicines, oxygen cylinders are transported these days as well as food items and grains. Rest of the items are fully ceased in a few states including Maharashtra," he added.
Singh said that truck drivers are already in a financial crisis and the COVID-19 restrictions are crippling them. "The COVID-19 restrictions are crippling the poor truckers as they are already in the financial crises. They have to arrange for taxes, insurance, salaries for workers and drivers, establishment and administrative costs, and equated monthly installments (EMIs)," he added.
He said the government should exempt transporters from paying toll and road tax like it had done last year. The government should plan relief measures for truck drivers like waiver of state taxes, permit and fitness fees, free parking for idle trucks and buses, he said.
Drivers and workers in the transportation space should be vaccinated for COVID-19 on priority, he said.