The ongoing nationwide strike by truckers has led to an estimated direct and indirect loss of over Rs 50,000 crore to the Indian economy and the government said Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) in a statement on Friday. It also said that the transporters should resolve the crisis through negotiations.
Starting July 20, around 90 lakh trucks have been off the roads as truckers protest against high diesel prices, asking for the removal of all toll barriers across the country and reduction of the third party insurance premium. They are also demanding the abolition of TDS, rationalization of income tax, the smoother functioning of the E-way bill, national permit for tourists and buses and abolition of the direct port delivery tendering system.
"Though the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are worst affected, other sectors are also starting to feel the impact of indefinite strike, which has already caused direct and indirect estimated loss worth over Rs 50,000 crore to the economy," said the chamber's Secretary General, D.S. Rawat in the statement.
"While the government should pay heed to transporters' genuine demands as their operating costs have been rising exorbitantly, we would at the same time request the unions to call off their strike and focus on finding an agreeable solution in the interest of the industry as a whole."
He further said that due to floods in various parts of the country, the supply of perishable items has already been disturbed and prices have gone up.
Inputs from IANS