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Truckers on indefinite strike against rise in insurance premium, supply of commodities to be affected

India TV Business Desk New Delhi 01 Apr 2017, 17:01:16 IST
India TV Business Desk

The supplies of essential commodities are likely to be affected as some of the truckers’ associations have threatened to take their vehicles off the road for an indefinite period from April 1 in protest against the hike in third party insurance premium among others.

The South India Motor Transport Association has already gone for the indefinite strike from Thursday and the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicles Owners’ Association (ACOGOA) has called for an indefinite strike across India for an indefinite period from April 1.

Over 15 lakh lorries and trucks from Karnataka to West Bengal stopped plying today after a strike call by the ACOGOA. 

The strike will have impact not only in West Bengal but also Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Bihar, part of Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka.

“We will remain off the road from April 1. We protest the exorbitant rise in premium of the third-party insurance, which has gone up by 800% from 2002 till date,” ACOGOA’s president Channa Reddy said on March 30.

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) notified on March 28 a massive 41 per cent increase in new third-party motor premium rates for private vehicles between 1 litre and 1.5 litre engine capacities to Rs 3,132 from Rs 2,237 now.

The truckers are also protesting the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 that proposes heavy penalties for traffic violations.

The amendments were approved by the Cabinet on Saturday and makes it mandatory for the linking of driving licence and vehicle registration with Adhaar-based platform.

According to amendments, drivers will now be included in third party Insurance and claims would be time bound. 

Protesting the IRDA's proposal, All India Motor Transport Congress’ (AIMTC) president SK Mittal said: “We have been demanding the category wise real time data from the insurance regulator but this has not been provided.”

“Previously, the tariff advisory committee was an active body having representatives from all stakeholders. The committee must be reinstated and real time data should be made available to the committee to take the final decision on hike. Till then, the current arbitrary and unilateral third-party insurance premium hike should be kept in abeyance,” Mittal added.

IRDA initially proposed a 50 per cent increase but later it has asked to implement 41 per cent increase in third-party insurance premium effective from April 1.

“As many as 20 district level associations in West Bengal are going for the indefinite strike from April 1,” federation of West Bengal truck operators’ association’s joint secretary Sajal Ghosh said on Friday.

AIMTC called for the indefinite strike from April 20, Mittal said.

Bombay goods transport association’s president BR Poonia said: “We are supporting the cause of the strike and have planned to join the indefinite strike from April 20.”

Truckers agreed that the strike decision would disrupt the supplies of commodities to cities and will result in increased prices of goods due to fall in supplies.

“The supplies of commodities will be hampered but what else we can do? We have been raising the issues for a long term. But nobody paid heed to our demand,” Mittal said.

On Thursday, over four lakh trucks were off the road in Tamil Nadu after a strike called by the South India Motor Transport Association (SIMTA).

Transportation of goods worth Rs 5, 000 crore was affected on Thursday as around 4.5 lakh did not operate, SIMTA said. 

Truckers in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala and in the Union Territory of Puducherry took part in the strike called by SIMTA.

Yesterday, public transport services in in Kerala were affected as various unions called for a 24-hour motor vehicle strike.

Private buses, autorickshaws, taxis and trucks were off the roads across the state since the strike began at midnight of March 30.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 that provides for linking of driving licence and vehicle registration with Adhaar-based platform and proposes heavy penalties for traffic violations. 

According to amendments, drivers will now be included in third party Insurance and claims would be time bond. 

IRDAI hikes third-party motor premia

Third-party motor premium rates for private vehicles between 1 litre and 1.5 litre engine capacities has been increased to Rs 3,132 from Rs 2,237

The third-party motor premium for private cars with 1 litre engines have been left unchanged at Rs 2,055. 

Third-party motor liability rates are the only one in the general insurance industry that is still decided by the regulator.

In case of private four-wheelers with engine capacity of above 1,500 cc, the regulator hiked the third party premium rates to Rs 8,630 from Rs 6,164.

For commercial vehicles with a carrying capacity under 7,500 kg, the premium goes up marginally to Rs 7,938 from Rs 7,849, while in contrast, the premium has come down for commercial vehicles with carrying capacity of above 7,500 kg.

Similarly, the premium rate for commercial vehicles with carrying capacity between 7,500 kg and 20,000 kg, the rate is to Rs 14,330. The existing rate for trucks with carrying capacity between 7,500 kg and 12,000 kg stands at Rs 14,390 and for those with carrying capacity between 12,000 kg and 20,000 kg at Rs 15,365.

In case of two-wheelers, the regulator has kept the rates unchanged for vehicles upto 75 cc at Rs 569. However, it has increased the rates for two-wheelers of upto 150 cc to Rs 720 from Rs 619.

For two-wheelers up to 350 cc and those above this, the new rates will be at Rs 970 and Rs 1,114 respectively. In case of three-wheelers, the new rate goes up to Rs 5,680 from Rs 4,200.