The supplies of commodities are likely to be disrupted from the first day of the new financial year (2017-18) as some of the truck owners’ associations have threatened to take their carriers off the road for an indefinite period from April 1.
The strike has been called to protest the sharp increase in third-party insurance premium.
The South India Motor Transport Association has already gone for the indefinite strike from Thursday and the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicles Owners’ Association (ACOGOA) has called for an indefinite strike across India for an indefinite period from April 1.
“We will remain off the road from April 1. We protest the exorbitant rise in premium of the third-party insurance, which has gone up by 800% from 2002 till date,” ACOGOA’s president Channa Reddy said.
Protesting the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority’s (IRDA) proposal to increase the insurance for the third-party insurance, All India Motor Transport Congress’ (AIMTC) president SK Mittal said: “We have been demanding the category wise real time data from the insurance regulator but this has not been provided.”
“Previously, the tariff advisory committee was an active body having representatives from all stakeholders. The committee must be reinstated and real time data should be made available to the committee to take the final decision on hike. Till then, the current arbitrary and unilateral third-party insurance premium hike should be kept in abeyance,” Mittal added.
According to Mittal, IRDA initially proposed a 50% increase but later it has asked to implement 41% increase in third-party insurance premium effective from April 1.
“As many as 20 district level associations in West Bengal are going for the indefinite strike from April 1,” federation of West Bengal truck operators’ association’s joint secretary Sajal Ghosh said.
“As members of ACOGOA decided to keep their goods vehicles off the road from April 1, it will have impact not only in West Bengal but also Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Bihar, part of Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka,” he added.
AIMTC called for the indefinite strike from April 20, Mittal said.
Bombay goods transport association’s president BR Poonia said: “We are supporting the cause of the strike and have planned to join the indefinite strike from April 20.”
Truckers agreed that the strike decision would disrupt the supplies of commodities to cities and will result in increased prices of goods due to fall in supplies. “The supplies of commodities will be hampered but what else we can do? We have been raising the issues for a long term. But nobody paid heed to our demand,” Mittal said.