Transport associations calls for Bharat Bandh on February 26 against E-way bill, rising fuel prices

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New Delhi: 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 Chakka Jam, or road blockade, on the same day.

Lakhs of trucks are also expected to stay off roads with AITWA deciding to join the protest. The AITWA is demanding the E-way bill to be replaced with e-invoice and immediate reduction in diesel prices.

“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 and 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 26, 2021,” said Mahendra Arya, National President AITWA.

A statement by CAIT has called for simplification of the GST to the “extent that even a small trader operating from remote area or areas should also be able to comply without external help”.

CAIT has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging violations by e-commerce giants. Besides, markets and transportation, booking of goods is likely to be affected due to the protest.

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, said AITWA.

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