Indian truck strike over fuel, toll costs ends Friday
A two-day nationwide trucking strike in India last week came to a close Friday after the government agreed to freeze highway toll taxes for cost-hit owner-operators.
More than 4 million drivers were reported to have participated in the strikes over high fuel costs and runaway toll increases. The issue reached a head last week and so truckers decided to shut down their rigs, clogging truck depots, roads and highways. Similar strikes from Europe to South Korea have shown just how vulnerable the trucking industry is to fuel prices rises.
“Because of the increase in the diesel prices our cost of operation has gone up, but the traders who send their stuff through us are not ready to pay more,” truck owner Sachin Sehgal told BBC.
A representative of a major Indian trucking association, the All India Motor Transport Congress, told the news agency that drivers simply were not making a living under current cost constrictions.
“We are already running under huge losses,” said the congress’ Charan Singh Lohara. “The cost of diesel is so high that we have nothing left to live on. The government must reduce the multiple taxes to compensate for the increasing cost of fuel.”
By Friday, the government headed off the crisis by rolling back toll rates and capping them to allow some relief. Indian news outlets reported that the strike should have no major impact to the economy.