Hit hard by ongoing coronavirus lockdown, several truck owners associations of Bokaro and Chas demanded waiver of road taxes; have sought the intervention of the Transport Minister on this issue.Chas Bokaro Truck Owners Welfare Association’s president Kumar Jitendra Singh demanded the waiver of road tax from 20 March to 20 May to overcome financial difficulties.“Due to the lockdown, the industries and companies are closed, hence the operations of the vehicles are stopped and the truck owners are reeling under a financial crunch,” he added.In a memorandum to the minister, the association has requested for waiver of motor vehicle tax and additional taxes. “We have also requested the Government to take up vehicle insurance-related issues with the IRDA for six months extension of insurance coverage,” said Navin Kumar a truck owner.
He said, as uncertainty looms large over the lifting of the lockdown in view of the rising number of coronavirus positive cases reported, we the truck owners are also demanding for waiver of interest dues on loan for six months and reschedulement of EMIs of the residual tenor.
Over 90 per cent of the trucking population across Bokaro district is of small operators having one to three trucks and once the vehicles stop moving there is no other source of income for us, said Navin.“In the ongoing lockdown, there is no other business or revenue inflow to us (transporter),” he added.
Meanwhile, few transports alleged, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for non-compliance of the Ministry of Home Affair’s order to all states allowing transport of both essential and non-essential goods. Trucks are still being stopped at various state borders and many complaints of vehicles being stopped have come from states like West Bengal-Jharkhand border, Delhi, UP Haryana and others, said Sanjay another member of the association.
“We are also getting reports of consignors pushing transporters to move fresh loads. There is no staff left, no labour, traders, factories and workshops are also closed, and the drivers have no facilities for eating or basic shelter,” he added.Few transporters have complained that the banks have deducted the EMIs from the accounts of the transporters who had loan accounts despite the RBI moratorium covering March to May.
While some banks say they have no instructions from their corporate offices, others ask the customers to apply in writing for a moratorium,” said Rajesh Kumar another truck owner and a member of the association.Since many of loan accounts have ECS route for EMI deduction, they have been given the option of availing the moratorium facility by informing the branch concerned through mail or another digital medium, said Vimal Kumar Manager HDFC Bank.
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