Source: News Bharati English27 Nov 2016 10:42:21

New Delhi, November 27: Along with other cash relief measures ASSOCHAM has appealed government to consider increasing the cash withdrawal limits for logistic and transport fleet owners as they need hard cash for meeting expenses for crew members like truck drivers and cleaners.A latest ASSOCHAM study on Transport and Logistics has revealed that close to 10 per cent of the en route expenses of trucks on trunk routes are accounted for by drivers and other support crew for the journeys which take 7-8 days on a single trip.

“The entire expenses of the drivers and other crew are to be met by cash. In the wake of the demonetisation of high value notes, the fleet owners are facing problems of operations,” said the chamber. The chamber has urged the government to review the cash withdrawal limit of Rs 50,000 from the current account per week and rise to minimum Rs 4-5 lakh, which is bare minimum.

While the fuel accounts for 52-66 per cent of the total trip expenses, another 25-40 per cent is to be accounted for sub heads like tolls, octroi, speedy clearance at check posts etc. Traditionally, all this money was required in cash. The driver also acts as a petty cashier. The note ban has come as a bottleneck to the transport business.

In order to improve the overall efficiency of the fleet owners and ease of doing business, the other problems which fleet owners face need to be resolved. Faster turnaround of trucks alone in the absence of check posts may improve the operational efficiency of the road transport sector.

Presently, there are 177 inter-state check posts and 268 toll barriers on national highways. The ASSOCHAM study suggested that to promote seamless inter-state freight flows; green channel should be adopted for transit of secure/sealed containerized cargo.

About 75 per cent of trucking firms own small fleets of less than five trucks. The industry has largely been operating in an unorganised sector and has not really taken to the main stream.