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Truckers counter govt claim, say lower volumes, not GST, cut travel time

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

Megha Manchanda  |  New Delhi 

Truckers counter govt claim, say lower volumes, not GST, cut travel time

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 Transport 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, fruits and vegetables dropped by 25-30 per cent this month, it says. 

A document prepared by the road transport ministry on the impact of on the logistics sector has claimed 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 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.

says 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.

First Published: Wed, July 26 2017. 20:46 IST