Truckers call of strike, Govt forms high-level panel to look into demands

A joint statement from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said, "The agitation by the AIMTC stands withdrawn immediately."

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Transporters today called off their eight-day long strike after the government agreed to consider their demands, bringing relief to the industry mainly FMCG, ecommerce and auto players who were hit by the disruption in supplies.

A joint statement from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said, “The agitation by the AIMTC stands withdrawn immediately.”

The decision to end the stir was taken after a marathon meeting of transporters and senior Road Transport and Highways Ministry officials today.

The truckers’ body, that claims support of 93 lakh truckers across the country, had gone on an indefinite strike on July 20 to press for their demands such as reduction in diesel prices, low third-party insurance premiums, and a favourable toll collection system.

Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “The AIMTC has called off its strike on the appeal of the government. The government is sensitive towards the demands of the transporters. It has agreed to their many demands already and to consider the rest it has constituted a high-level committee.”

The committee will be set up under the Road Transport, Highways secretary and it will submit its report within three months.

It has been agreed that the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will discuss tomorrow the demand to review the premium for third-party insurance for heavy vehicles, the statement said.

“With regard to toll collections, government agrees to put in place, within six months, a mechanism to ensure seamless movement of transport vehicles across the toll plaza with the help of technology,” the statement said.

Industries such as e-commerce, FMCG and automobile makers had faced the heat of the protest as also supplies of farm commodities like cotton, grains and spices took a hit.

Industry body Assocham said the strike caused direct and indirect estimated loss of more than Rs 50,000 crore to the economy, with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) being the worst affected.

Automobile industry body SIAM said companies have had to adjust production as the strike affected both parts supplies and distribution of vehicles. “Our members are facing unprecedented crisis as it is affecting the movement of vehicles and components supply because of the strike,” SIAM deputy director general Sugato Sen said.

E-commerce major Amazon also said the strike affected its product deliveries in some cities.

AIMTC Core Committee Chairman Bal Malkit Singh claimed truckers lost around Rs 32,000 crore during the eight-day protest.

 

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