Drawing inputs from various sources, a latest Assocham study on Transport and Logistics has noted 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.
While the fuel accounts for 52-66 per cent of the total trip expenses, another 25-40 per cent are 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.”
The chamber has urged the government to review the cash withdrawal limit of Rs 50,000 from the current account per week and raise to minimum Rs 4-5 lakh, which is bare minimum.
Besides, the fleet owners face other problems which need to be resolved for improving the overall efficiency of the fleet owners and ease of doing business. "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.