Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Truckers strike in India today

Its 1 July today and we start the month with news that truckers in Karnataka are calling an indefinite strike to raise their voice against a hike in sales tax on diesel.

Now truckers are intelligent too. Their argument is that sales tax should be done away with as it is not constant across the country. People might pay more in Punjab than Haryana. They have instead recommended putting VAT (Value Added Tax) as it levied equal across the country.

They feel the pinch of toll tax too. The toll tax, they argue, is based on two factors : price per km and number of vehicles. Naturally, they are inversely proportional -if one rises, the other must fall. But not in this case -because even as vehicles increase, government has increased toll tax from Rs. 1.35 per km to Rs. 2.40 per km. Thats really unfair for truck driver and transport agencies.

Its time for the main part - How do we get affected?
  1. Logistics wouldn't move, people won't get their stuff on time and there will be huge delays in courier services and allied services.
  2. This may also mean added loss for the government due to higher transportation costs they'll have to provide to make up the strike.
  3. Less vegetables, fruits, FMCG products will hit the market. In fact, last time I went to the neighborhood market, I couldn't find any fresh fruits at all, leave alone fruits at high prices!!
  4. Most manufacturing companies will be hit hard because they'll want quick transportation of goods/supply parts or inventory demands.
  5. This 5th point is only for me - my Amazon books are going to get delayed by a couple of weeks maybe....i'm praying that they reach on time.

The truckers' strike in India is mainly due to high inflation levels, bigger taxes levied by the govt and the ongoing oil crisis. Strikes in other countries are also to follow. As you read this, French truckers are fighting for the same cause - citing their oil prices being higher than other neighboring countries.

What do you think of the latest truck strike? Is it just an attraction-seeker or truckers are really facing the axe? Let us know either by voting in our poll or commenting at our comments page.

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