The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday urged the truckers’ associations to end their indefinite strike that began on January 1, 2024, and assured them that their concerns will be considered and resolved. The strike has disrupted the supply of essential commodities across the country and caused losses to the transport sector.
Why are the truckers on strike?
The truckers’ associations, under the banner of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), have called for a nationwide strike to protest against the hike in diesel prices, toll charges, and third-party insurance premiums. They have also demanded the scrapping of the e-way bill system, which they claim is cumbersome and prone to corruption.
The truckers have claimed that the strike has affected the movement of over 95 lakh trucks and 40 lakh buses, and has caused a loss of over Rs 2,000 crore per day to the transport industry. They have also warned that the strike will lead to a shortage of essential goods and services, such as food, medicines, fuel, and industrial raw materials, and will have a cascading effect on the economy.
What is the government’s response?
The MHA, in a statement, said that it has taken note of the issues raised by the truckers and has initiated a dialogue with them to find an amicable solution. The ministry said that it has constituted a committee, comprising officials from the ministries of road transport, finance, and petroleum, to examine the demands of the truckers and suggest measures to address them.
The MHA also appealed to the truckers to resume their operations, keeping in mind the interest of the nation and the common people. The ministry said that the strike is causing inconvenience to the public and affecting the supply of essential commodities, especially in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry assured the truckers that their grievances will be resolved in a time-bound manner and requested them to cooperate with the government.
What are the truckers’ reactions?
The truckers’ associations, however, have expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s response and have decided to continue their strike until their demands are met. They have accused the government of being insensitive and indifferent to their plight and have demanded a direct intervention from the Prime Minister.
The truckers have also sought the support of the farmers, traders, and consumers, who are also affected by the strike. They have said that they are fighting for their survival and dignity, and have urged the public to understand their problems and join their agitation.