After transporters held the government to ransom twice in the same year,the sub-committee set up to sort out differences between the two sides is considering expanding the scope of national permits for truckers.
The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) members had gone on strike once in July and once in December last year stalling the supply of essential commodities across the country and raising their prices.
Addressing one of their demands,the sub-committee,which met last Thursday,is considering issue of a single permit that will allow transporters to move freely between 6-7 states against four states now. However,this may be coupled with a 100 per cent hike in permit fee if the governments proposal sees the light of the day.
Truckers can currently ply in the parent state from which they get the permit and three more states to whom they have to pay Rs 5,000 as fees every year. Currently,the one-time fee is Rs 15,000 charged by the parent state,which the government wants to raise to Rs 30,000.
AIMTC truckers,however, want to cover more states with a single permit and want the government to reduce the permit fee to Rs 12,500 per year.
In addition,to avoid disputes between transport authorities of different states and make the process transparent,the Centre may set up a mechanism to collect the fee and divide it among the 6-7 states where the permit will be valid. Once the money is collected in the central pool,it will be divided among the states through e-payment system.
There is a lot of confusion over revenue sharing between road transport offices (RTOs) of the different states. The parent state collects the fee,which then has to be shared with the three other states. However,there have been leakages and problems here, a senior government official said. The matter was discussed in the meeting with various states officials.
The government is also to work out the formula for calculating fee,which may be based on road length of traffic growth projections. Even as the committee has begun work and mechanisms are being considered to sort out the issues,a final decision will come only when the new government takes charge of affairs.
The meeting was attended by the principal secretary finance of Gujarat and principal secretaries of Uttar Pradesh,Haryana and Andhra Pradesh. The transport commissioners of Punjab and Karnataka were also present.