July 8, 2021 5:38:59 am
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Wednesday declared that “once it forms government in Punjab, it would restore truck unions which had been abolished by the Congress government”.
Addressing a press conference, senior Akali leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said the step to abolish truck unions had proved to be “a retrograde one as a new syndicate has emerged, which has monopolized the trucking trade resulting in losses to both owners as well as traders”.
Chandumajra added, “After restoring truck unions, we will form committees, including the sub divisional magistrate (SDM), a truck operator and a trade representative, so that genuine rates can be fixed and all grievances resolved amicably”.
He also announced that only truck operators would be allowed to head truck unions.
The former MP said that SAD transport wing will hold a dharna in front of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s residence in Patiala on July 12 “to highlight the plight of the transport sector and demand transporters be exempted from road tax for one year besides calling for a fifty per cent reduction of State VAT on petroleum products”.
Chandumajra said representatives of this sector including rickshaw owners, truck, taxi, school bus and auto rickshaw owners from each stand in the State would hold a symbolic two hour dharna. He said “in case the government did not take corrective action, the SAD transport wing would hold a State wide protest rally in August to press for its demands. He also announced that the SAD transport wing would support the protest call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) against rise in fuel prices tomorrow.
Chandumajra said trucks, school buses, taxis and auto rickshaws should be exempt from payment of road tax for one year because their owners were unable to ply their trade due to Covid restrictions for more than one year.
He said that besides this there was an urgent need to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel as it had made the transport sector unprofitable besides increasing inflation for the common man.
Chandumajra also said that once SAD formed government, it would “provide stickers to truckers after payment of yearly tax in one go to ensure they were not stopped by anyone on the road. This step is aimed at removing corruption and harassment of truckers”.
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