Punjab truckers remain off-road after ban on unions

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Chandigarh, July 9 (IANS) Following the recent decision of the Punjab Cabinet to ban the formation of truck unions and cartels, over 90,000 trucks remained off the roads in Punjab on Sunday.

The one-day protest strike was called by the All Punjab Truck Operators’ Union, its president Happy Sandhu said.

Transportation of food grains and other material was affected due to the strike call.

The Punjab government had announced that all truck unions would be disbanded in the state.

To end the cartelisation of goods transport, the Punjab Cabinet on July 5 gave its approval to the Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelisation Rules), 2017, which bar goods carriage operators from forming cartels or unions in the state.

“Once these rules come into effect, no operator or permit holder of goods carriages shall be allowed to form a cartel denying freedom of choice to the consignors and consignees to engage the services of such operators or permit holders,” a Punjab government spokesperson had said.

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The proposed new rules have been placed in public domain for 30 days for any objections.

“The move is aimed at destroying the mafia of goods transporters who had cartelised the business over the past several years, obstructing the free and fair movement of goods transport, thereby also impacting industrial development of the state,” the spokesperson said.

To protect the interests of the transporters following the abolition of truck unions, it was also decided that the government should fix the minimum and maximum fares and freights for goods carriers.



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