Truck operators on strike, demand inclusion of diesel in GST

09 Oct 2017


Transporters, including members of the All India Motor Transport Congress  (AIMTC) and other transport associations today began a 36-hour strike demanding inclusion of uniform goods and services tax rate on petrol and diesel as well.

The strike which started at 8 am today is slated to continue till evening tomorrow     for 36 hours, giving rise to concerns of supply disruption and price rise.

"Transporters have decided to protest against the callous and indifferent attitude of government officials, GST, diesel price hike and corruption on roads by observing a token 'chakka jam' (strike) on October 9 and 10," AIMTC president SK Mittal said ahead of the strike.

The truckers claim that they are facing huge confusion caused by GST-related rules. According to them, confusions arose with the existence of Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) and Forward Charge (FCM) in GST system.

Transporters are not able to lift goods from unregistered traders as that would require transporters to pay GST on behalf of unregistered traders under RCM and they (transporters) can also avail FCM, where they need to pay 12 per cent GST but claim full input credit.

Transporters have demanded that revision of fuel prices should be done on a quarterly basis against the current practice of daily revisions, which they said disrupts the industry and the market.

Trucks went off the road in Mumbai, Delhi and several other places in the country and the impact of the strike would be felt more tomorrow as supplies of several commodities, including food stuffs, milk and vegetables, deplete.

In Mumbai, truck-operators have planned a sit-in strike at Mankhurd check-post today.

Bal Malkit Singh, AIMTC core committee chairman, said the over 9.3 million truck operators and other transporters in the country are suffering "huge losses and harassment" due to "suffocative policies" of the government, and all of them were on strike today, he said.

"The exorbitant increase in the diesel price and daily fluctuations are affecting the road transport sector. The diesel and tolls account for more than 70 per cent of operating cost of the truck, though diesel is out of GST. Diesel must be brought under GST top bring uniformity of diesel pricing across the country," Calcutta Goods Transport Association (CGTA) President Prabhat Kumar Mittal told reporters on Saturday.

The combined effect of daily revision of diesel prices, the differential rates of GST and the exclusion of petroleum products from the ambit of GST has created utter confusion, chaos and disruption, they pointed out.

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