Hyderabad, June 20 (INN): The transport operators of Telangana on Saturday decided to intensify the agitation demanding waiver of Motor Vehicle Tax for two quarters for the contract carriage vehicles and Maxi Cabs in view of lockdown.
The decision was taken in the meeting of Telangana State Cabs & Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) held through a video-conference today. Briefing about the decisions taken during the meeting TSCBOA President Syed Nizamuddin said that the transport operators have expressed serious concern over the silence of the State Government on the problems being faced by the industry. “Our industry is paying taxes of nearly Rs. 2,700 crore annually to the State Government. But we are being left to our fate by the government when we are in deep crisis. We cannot survive without the support of the State Government at this point of time. Our vehicles are parked in garages and we have no revenues since March 22 due to lockdown. Almost all operators have become bankrupt and facing severe financial crisis. We are now looking at the government for some help to overcome the crisis,” he said.
Nizamuddin said that despite lack of revenues, almost all transport operators retained thousands of drivers and other staff by paying salaries even during lockdown. Somehow we are managing other expenses and putting up a brave face with the hope that normalcy would return soon. But we are not getting the desired response from the State Government. He said that the operators were not in a position to pay advance taxes for the vehicles parked in garages. He said it was wrong for the government to expect the operators to pay taxes without having any earnings. Therefore, he said that the State Government should consider their demand for waiver of MV Tax for six months, i.e., from April – September 2020 for all the contract carriage vehicles and Maxi Cabs. He said this move would help hundreds of operators from facing total collapse and also save nearly 5-6 lakh direct and indirect jobs.
The TSCBO President said that transport operators have met RTA officials all across Telangana State on Saturday and gave them flowers as part of agitation. He said it has been decided to intensify the agitation in the next few days by adopting more aggressive forms of protest. “This is a fight not only for operators, but lakhs of drivers, cleaners, mechanics and other non-technical staff associated with our industry. It is a do-or-die battle for us. The State Government should help us survive in the ongoing crisis and our industry will certainly contribute more to the State in terms of revenues in near future,” he said.