JAMMU, July 14: Sulking over no relief package to the transporters, delay in the resumption of commercial transportation, delegation of transporters today called on former minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla at Nanak Nagar and projected their issues.
Led by DCC general secretary Urban, Vijay Singh Chib, Aman Bawa, Balwinder Singh Rinku and others, the transporters projected their issues before Bhalla and said that Government has announced a relief package for all the sectors but they have been left high and dry. Transporters have suffered huge losses due to the lockdown. While rail and air traffic have been resumed and liquor vends have been opened, they are at loss to run their vehicles in J&K.
“A large number of drivers and helpers are on verge of bankruptcy. The COVID-19 outbreak has left a devastating impact on the transport sector with thousands of drivers and helpers rendered jobless and struggling to survive the pandemic for last two months,” they said.
Bhalla said that Transport sector needs urgent support to survive as more than 20 crore people are directly and indirectly dependent on this sector. He demanded “issuing advisory to the State Government/ UTs for tax holiday for Motor Vehicle Tax/Road Tax /State Tax/Good Tax/ Token Tax/Passenger Tax for the FY 2020-21.He also demanded extension of validity of fitness, permit (all Types), driving licence, registration or any other concerned document(s) whose extension of validity could not be processed due to lockdown and which have been expired since Feb 1, 2020 till the end of the current fiscal.
“There is no revenue generation, no financial inflows as payments from parties are restrained and existing finance with the small operators as well as that of big operators is depleting fast,” he said. Expressing serious concern over the plight of transporters due to continued lockout, Bhalla demanded special package for drivers and conductors living in penury.
Bhalla demanded a special financial package for the rehabilitation and revival of the transport industry including its allied sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. “Last two months of the COVID lockdown has also added to the sufferings of this sector to an extent that people associated with this industry are not in a position to feed their families. So the Government must come forward and provide them succour at this difficult time,” Bhalla added.