- Fares may increase on festivals
Mumbai. Due to the ever increasing diesel and increasing toll charges, there has been a huge increase in the truck freight rates. Truck fares have increased by 10 to 15% for all routes including the busiest route Mumbai-Delhi. While diesel has become costlier by 10% in the last 4 months, toll charges have also increased by 15 to 20%.
Due to this, the transporters are getting double hit and they are forced to increase the fares. The increase in freight charges is directly affecting the essential commodities. Due to which inflation is increasing in them.
Diesel’s share in 50% of the total cost
Transporters say that most of the expenditure in the operation of trucks is on diesel. Diesel accounts for about 50% of the total freight cost and diesel is becoming increasingly expensive. On May 1, 2021, the price of diesel in Mumbai was Rs 87.81 per liter, which has now reached a high of Rs 96.19. That is, diesel has become costlier by about 10%. Despite repeated requests, neither the central nor the state governments are cutting the tax rates on diesel.
Heavy toll fee also a big concern
Apart from diesel, heavy toll charges are another major cause of concern for the transporters. The government is also not giving any relief in toll charges. On the contrary, toll charges are being increased on all routes. The total one-way toll for the truck on the Mumbai-Delhi route has gone up to around Rs 9,000, up from around Rs 7,500 in February 2021.
15% trucks closed due to covid crisis
The third reason for the increase in truck fares is that due to the COVID crisis, many small transporters have come under heavy losses and are unable to repay their bank loan installments. They have parked their trucks due to lack of capital. That is, they have no money left to operate. Vipul Bansal, general secretary of the Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA), says that about 15% of trucks across the country have stopped due to losses. Due to this also there has been shortage of trucks.
Difficult to find cost: Bansal
Vipul Bansal, vice-president of All India Transport Welfare Association, said that the transporter sector has also been badly affected due to the COVID epidemic, but no government has given any relief. The expensive diesel and heavy tolls have made the condition of the transporters miserable. We have to increase the truck fare under compulsion. Despite the increase in fares, the cost is barely coming out. If the government does not reduce the price of diesel by reducing its tax, then there may be a further increase in truck fares during festivals. We urge the central and state governments to reduce the tax on diesel immediately because expensive diesel is increasing the inflation of all commodities.
Fear of rising inflation during festivals: Thakkar
Mumbai President of trade federation ‘CAT’ Shankar Thakkar said that due to expensive diesel-petrol and increasing truck fares, the inflation of all essential commodities including cereals, pulses, oil, fruits and vegetables is increasing. In the festive season ahead, there may be shortage of trucks due to demand. Due to which there will be a possibility of increasing the freight cost. Then inflation will flare up. Therefore, now that its GST revenue is increasing every month, the Central Government should immediately withdraw the excise duty increased last year on petrol and diesel, so that the public can get some relief from inflation.