With over 22 states dismantling inter-state check posts after the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax ( GST) on 1 July, an ASSOCHAM analysis revealed that there has been a significant reduction of 24 to 36 hours in trucking time on trunk routes, apart from saving the fleet owners Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 7,500 per trip by way of corruption at the octroi and sales tax/VAT check posts.
"Our quick check has shown that on an average a lorry/truck runs for 10-12 hours a day and should cover a distance of about 2200 kms between, say Delhi to Chennai in three days. However, traversing through different states and braving the stoppages at several check posts of VAT, Octroi and other local taxes was resulting in additional two to three days. So, the consignment between Delhi-Chennai, for instance was taking five to six days. At least 24-36 hours would easily be saved for these trunk routes after dismantling of the check posts," said the chamber after interacting with the fleet owners and transport intermediaries.
Besides, the bigger nuisance of corruption at each of the check posts and through various states would have meant an additional expenditure of Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 7,500 per trip. This has also been done away with, thus providing a big relief to transporters.
The interaction with the fleet owners revealed that before commencing a trip, the crew, comprising driver(s) and helpers was given "out of pocket" or "petty cash" of at least Rs 10,000 for the trunk routes of Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, Mumbai-Jaipur, Ahmedabad-Delhi, Bengaluru-Delhi and so on.
On completion of the trip, the driver would give his account that would include the expenses at each of the forced halt points.
"We hope, further improvement is done in this direction in terms of improving other infrastructure. For instance, the "no entry" traffic restrictions can be done away if high class dedicated bypasses are constructed around the major cities so that the truckers can play seamlessly," said D S Rawat, Secretary General- ASSOCHAM.
Improvement in freight movement through road and rail would not only result in a huge cost saving for the trade and industry, but would take India quite high on the global index of Ease of Doing Business.