The All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), one of the foremost apex bodies of India’s Road Transport Sector, has extended support to Bharat Bandh call by The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on February 26 against Goods and Services Tax (GST) and hold ‘Chakka Jam’, or road blockade, on the same day.
“All state level-transport associations have confirmed their support to AITWA in this one-day non-operation of transport in protest of the fuel price hike and scrapping of new E-way bill laws introduced by Government of India. The nature of the movement is to reject booking and movement of all E-Way Bill oriented goods for one day. All transport companies are asked to park their vehicles between 6 am to 8 pm as a symbolic protest. All transport godowns will display the protest banners. All customers will be approached by transport companies not to book or load any goods on February 26th, 2021,” said Mahendra Arya, National President AITWA.
Transporters across the country have been using the latest amendment in the GST laws, which has halved the validity of the E-way bill, a permit associated with the inter-State and intra-State movement of goods, from 100 km per day, to 200 km per day. Penalties for a truck carrying a consignment with an expired E-way bill, or with an erroneous E-way bill amount to 200 percent of the tax value, or 100 percent of the invoice value under Section 129 of CGST Act, 2017.
For small and medium transporters, especially those involved in part-load movement of goods or retail transportation, complying with the new rule has meant a higher and costly compliance burden, with penalties running into lakhs of rupees, for circumstantial delays. This may lead to completely shutting their shop.
AITWA has been writing letters to the Government of India on various issues of transport industry mainly on issues of impracticable E-way bills under GST and unviable pricing policy of diesel. “AITWA demands abolishing the E-way bill as the newly introduced E-invoice is good enough for preventing tax evasion. Vehicles may be tracked by the Government using Fast Tag connectivity to E-invoice. Transporters should not be subject to any penalty by the Government for any time-based compliance target of transit. Diesel prices should be reduced and mechanisms need to be discussed and created with the Transport Industry for future regulation. Diesel prices should be equalized across the length and breadth of the nation,” added Mahendra Arya, National President AITWA.