The goods transporters’ strike against new regulations and hefty increase of fines has entered the third day.
Cargo supplies across the country came to a halt during the start of the week when transporters suspended their operations in protest over a hefty increase in fines.
Transporters had decided to halt the cargo supply from Monday as a last resort after their several appeals had failed to convince the government to take action on their concerns.
“The drivers are fined up-to Rs. 10,000 in the name of online verification of their licenses which are issued by government authorities,” said an official from All Pakistan Goods and Transporters.
The increase ranges from Rs. 500 to Rs. 10,000 on various violations. The National Highway Authority (NHA), which operates under the Ministry of Communications, increased the fines by 10 times for the same rule violations.
They further said that a 22-wheeler vehicle is allowed to carry 58.5 tons as per law, however, the new axle load regime had restricted this limit to 32 tons for a triple-axle vehicle. The law, which deals with the issue, has not even been promulgated.
”Right now, more than 7,500 heavy vehicles involved in goods transport are parked in Kathore and Hawkesbay truck stands,” said the official. Due to the three-day strike, the transportation of the goods remains suspended at Karachi’s ports.
They said they pay millions of rupees in taxes and play an important role in the overall economic activity of the country but they were never taken on board by the government when making the recent policy.
According to the issued statement by All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) the ongoing strike by the transport sector can adversely impact the exports significantly as there are no empty containers available in upcountry for exports. He further stated that exporters are missing shipment deadlines.