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Transporters body will have no truck with govt claims

IFTRT says lower volumes, not GST, has cut lorries' travel time

Megha Manchanda 

Transporters body will have  no truck with govt claims

The reported reduction in travel time for trucks, claimed by a Union government report, might be a function of volume rather than introduction of the goods and service tax (GST).

The Indian Foundation of Research and Training (IFTRT) says in the first fortnight (July 1-15) of implementation, 40 per cent of the truck fleet was almost non-operational. And, the entire fleet was underutilised, as untaxed and non-compliant cargo booking stopped.

Cargo of agricultural items, fruit and vegetables dropped by 25-30 per cent this month, it says. 

A document prepared by the road ministry on the impact of on the has claimed trucks cover at least 30 per cent more distance every day after roll-out. A typical truck spends 20 per cent of its run time at interstate checkposts. On an average, a truck in India runs an annual distance of 60,000 km, against 200,000 km in the West, which results in substantial increase in freight cost, the booklet added.

The IFTRT report said in the first fortnight of July, interstate highways without border checkposts lacked a national e-way bill digital transit pass system to check cargo, and traffic moved faster by 11-40 per cent And, that the total of transit time, i.e., booking of cargo and ultimate delivery, was no way close to the 30 per cent higher efficiency claimed by the ministry.

IFTRT says trucks travelled faster but had to wait for a return load for four to five days, against the normal one or two days. In the past week, it adds, illegal untaxed consignments are moving with impunity on intrastate and interstate routes. This situation can be checked only till a national e-way bill digital transit pass system or superior alternative is in place.

The ministry booklet says the end of border checkposts, reduction in congestion on highways and logistics firms avoiding wasteful expenditure on tax compliance and deposit of interstate sales tax would reduce logistics cost by 10-12 per cent.

PRE-INDIA

  • A truck spends 20% of its run time at interstate checkposts. On an average, a truck in India runs an annual distance of 60,000 km, against 200,000 km in the West
  • Complex tax structure and paperwork forced the industry to spend 50-60% of its resources on tax compliance and deposit of interstate sales tax
  • Centre and state statutory tax rate for goods worked out to be 26.5%
POST-INDIA

  • Interstate checkposts removed. Travel time of long-haul trucks, other cargo vehicles cut by at least one-fifth
  • Monitoring, collection of sales tax at interstate barriers obviated. 
  • A single means increased uptime for trucks, better turnaround and optimised warehousing structure
  • Rate for all goods expected to be in the range of 18%

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