Truck operators have on Friday agreed to end their seven-day old strike after the government promised to consider their demands, but after causing an estimated direct and indirect loss of over Rs50,000 crore to the economy.
Around 90 lakh trucks have been off the roads since 20 July with truckers protesting against high diesel prices, toll barriers across the country and reduction rising third party insurance premium.
The All India Motor Transport Congress had called the strike to press their demands to reduce taxes on fuel, roll back higher insurance premiums and cut highway tolls.
Announcing the withdrawal of the strike, union ministry for road transport Nitin Gadkari said the government had agreed to consider their demands. "The government is sensitive to the demands of the transporters. We have accepted many of their demands. We have formed a high-level committee to consider the last remaining one," he tweeted in Hindi on Friday evening.
The drivers' union feared that food prices could rise because of shortages (File
The week-long stir, which was supported by the truck drivers' union had left thousands of vehicles stranded at borders, raising fears that food prices could rise because of shortages.
In fact, suppliers of essential commodities suffered disruption because of the strike that affected south and western India most.
Assocham estimates the losses to the economy due the strike – both direct and indirect - so far to over Rs50,000 crore.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said its members, especially Tata Motors and the Indian operations of Ford and Skoda, faced an "unprecedented crisis" because of parts shortages due to the week-long strike.
Online retailer Amazon said the strike has affected its product deliveries in some cities. "Owing to the ongoing difficulties caused by the strike, the delivery of products in a few cities has been impacted and we are working closely with these customers to get their orders to them quickly," its spokesperson said.
States such as Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu which have key textile, pharmaceutical, chemical and ceramic industries saw major disruptions.