Transport sector body seeks lower fuel charges, insurance premium, tyre costs

Facing challenging times due to the economic slowdown and the issues surrounding the COVID-19, transporters have called for a set of measures that will lower truck owning and operating cost. The measures include lowering the fuel cost, insurance premium, stopping the likely increase in toll charges that are linked to the WPI and a breather from having to repay truck loan every month. “Road Transport sector is in deep crisis and facing the burden of economic slowdown.

Now, added woes of Covid-19 have multiplied the pain,” said transport sector tracking body Indian Foundation Transport Research Training’s Senior Fellow S P Singh, in a letter to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and Road Transport Minister. Singh listed a set of measures that will lower the cost. The diesel prices will be cut substantially in tune with steep drop in international benchmark, with immediate reduction of Rs 5-6 a litre as first tranch.

The truck tyre prices needs immediate slashing by at least 15- 20 per cent as crude oil has dropped by 55 per cent in last three months and key raw material prices which go into manufacturing of tyres are crude oil based. “The truckers’ businesses are down and out for last two years and economic slowdown has broken their back. Therefore, they are in dire straits to repay load to banks and non banking finance companies (NBFCs).

Hence, there should be moratorium on repayment of EMIs and these should be re-scheduled immediately,” it said. Since implementation of new Motor Vehicle Amendment Act , 2019 six months ago, road safety has improved and accidents have come down in many States. So, the third party insurance premium should be reduced over last year rather then hiking the premium as proposed in Draft Exposure Report on Third Party Premium of the insurance regulatory body Insurance Regulatory Development Authority, added IFTRT.

Given the poor state of health of road transport sector, toll charges on national and state highways should not be increased, said Singh.

The economy has witnessed a slowdown for the last two years.

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