The All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association (ACOGOA) affiliated goods transporters on Monday started an indefinite strike across the country pressing their demands on the government.
Their demands include an immediate reduction in diesel prices and deregulation of the insurance premium amounts charged by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA).
Speaking to TNM, Rajinder Singh, the secretary-general of ACOGOA, said the diesel prices are being increased despite the fall in the crude oil prices in the international market.
â€śWe want the government to stop increasing the diesel price every day. We instead suggest that the prices be increased quarterly so that the impact is not huge. Between May 14 and May 29, the diesel price increased by Rs 3.50 per litre. Such daily hike in fuel prices cannot even be offset by an increase in the billing amount to customers since we cannot revise the tariff every day,â€ť he said.
ACOGOA had submitted letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
â€śSince we did not get any response from any of them, we decided to go off the roads from June 18,â€ť added Rajinder Singh.
Around 4,00,000 goods transport vehicles are expected to go off the roads from June 18 in Tamil Nadu alone. Although the transport of essential goods will not be affected for now, Rajinder Singh said that they would also join the strike if the government do not respond in two days.
â€śThe third-party insurance premium amounts have increased year on year without a logical basis to it. We request the government to direct the IRDA to put a cap on the increase and de-tariff the prices. We expect the IRDA will act in a transparent manner and heed to our request,â€ť said Rajinder Singh.
On June 14, the All India Road Transport Workersâ€™ Federation also issued a press release supporting the strike. The statement urged all its affiliates to join hands and express solidarity to the cause ACOGOA.
â€śThe IRDA constituted by the Union Government is enhancing the third party insurance premium on all the motor vehicles every year without any reasonable cause and justification. The AIRTWF filed a petition under RTI Act to furnish the details of the amount collected as premium and the amount paid to the victims of road accidents as compensation. Surprisingly, the IRDA replied that they donâ€™t have the details. Without having the details, how they are enhancing the premium rates every year and what is the basis for enhancement? AIRTWF demands the IRDA either to put the details in the public domain or to withdraw the enhanced premiums forthwith,â€ť said the statement.