Transporters' apex body AIMTC on Wednesday said it has requested the government for a blanket loan moratorium for the sector till August 31, 2021 in the prevailing scenario to help in maintaining business continuity. Also, the AIMTC objected to the fresh guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government for cargo carriers asking them to carry negative RT-PCR test reports issued within 48 hours of them entering the state.
The AIMTC said the order is poised to cripple supply chain of essential commodities. The organisation has written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting that the guidelines be revised and cargo carries be made to undergo rapid antigen tests free of cost at the border.
The state government of Thursday issued fresh guidelines extending the ongoing curbs till 7 am on June 1.
“In the case of cargo carriers, not more than two people (driver + cleaner/helper) may be allowed to travel in the same. If these cargo carriers are originating from outside the state, these may be allowed to enter into the state with a negative RT-PCR test, which will have to be issued from up to a maximum of 48 hours before the time of entry into Maharashtra and which will be valid for seven days,” the guidelines stated.
Blanket loan moratorium
In a statement, the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) pointed out that around 70 per cent of the country is under lockdown and more than 85 per cent of the transporters are small operators having one to five vehicles (both cargo and passenger segment).
"We have requested the government for blanket loan moratorium in the prevailing scenario to help in maintaining business continuity and tackling stressed sectors like the transport sector and help in survival of crores of these hapless Indian citizens associated with the road transport sector," it said.
It further said the road transport sector is committed to maintaining the supply chain of oxygen, medicines and other essential commodities despite burgeoning adversities on all fronts.
"About 60 per cent of the transport sector is idle and is financially crippled. The current scenario in the country has impaired the livelihood of the small operators... even as they are forced to pay the statutory fees, establishment costs, payment of salaries, EMIs, maintenance, fitness, permit fees, Taxes, insurance, parking fees even though the vehicles keep standing," it said.
AIMTC said the spike in non-performing assets (NPAs) and seizure of transport vehicles (trucks, buses, maxi-cab, tourist taxis) will result in disruption of supply chain of essential commodities, medicines and other projects as well as peoples' mobility.
Source: Business Standard