No money to pay EMIs. Truckers body may 'stop running vehicles' soon
Transporters are reeling under severe financial stress and if the government fails to intervene, they will be left with no other option than to stop running the vehicles, industry body AIMTC said on Thursday.
The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) is the apex body of transporters representing about 95 lakh truckers and entities.
"The transport fraternity is in... extreme financial turmoil and if the government does not provide immediate help to the transport sector then the 30 per cent vehicles (on roads now) will be stopped as they will not be able to comply (with) the financial implications to run their vehicles or pay the EMIs," AIMTC President Kultaran Singh Atwal said.
He said this may result in scarcity of essential supplies and increase in prices.
"We help the country in maintaining the supplies of essential commodities so that the people of the country do not go hungry... The government announced ₹20 lakh crore package but not a single effort was made for the road transport sector and more than 20 crore people dependent upon this sector," Atwal said.
He said AIMTC has repeatedly requested the government for a minimum rescue package for the road transport sector that includes Covid-19 insurance for drivers, deferment of EMIs for six months, extension of validity of motor insurance, among others, but to no avail.
Alleging that the government has turned a blind eye towards their plight, Atwal said the extension of validity of motor insurance ended on May 15, 2020.
Without third-party insurance, the vehicles cannot run on the road. Validity extension has not been done and the members are not able to pay up for this, as the average for a single truck comes to about ₹60,000, he said.
"Apart from that there are other expenses like salaries, EMIs, taxes, establishment cost, rentals, maintenance etc remains to be serviced, which seem highly unlikely," AIMTC said.