Carpet Bombing by Demonetisation Drives 70 per cent trucks off India's roads says Economic Times
Kultaran Singh Atwal, a transporter, owns seven trucks. Now, he says, he is forced to keep five of his fleet idle due to demonetisation, as he has been deprived of the minimum Rs 20,000 cash per truck per trip that he requires as running expenses.
Atwal is not an exception. There are many like him. With the government's curbs on withdrawal of money and exchange of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the motor transport business is suffering, since 80 per cent of the business is cash-based.
The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) — a representative body for 9.3 million truckers, and more than five million bus operators, tourist taxis and maxi cabs — says 70 percent of the vehicles of their members are already off the roads.
The association warns that if the situation is allowed to persist not only the supplies of essential commodities like milk, fruits, vegetables and medicines will get increasingly affected but it will also cripple the lives of 200 million people directly or indirectly dependent on this industry.
"Under the Finance Act, I'm allowed Rs 35,000 per truck per trip in cash for expenses on diesel, octroi, etc.," Atwal, who is the Chairman of AIMTC, told IANS. "How can I survive when there is an overall withdrawal limit of just Rs 50,000?" he queries.
"The government must hike the withdrawal limit or allow cheque-based transactions in our sector."
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