AITWA and AIMTC at loggerheads regarding call for Bharat Bandh against the new E-Way Bill rules

The All India Transporters’ Welfare Association (AITWA) has demanded to abolish the new E-Way Bill or scrap certain rules and has, in support of its demand, decided to support the Bharat Bandh call given by The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on February 26 against the GST.

All state-level transport associations have confirmed their support to the AITWA also in protest against the fuel price hike.”

~ Mahendra Arya, AITWA National President

“We will reject booking and movement of all Bill-oriented goods for one day. All companies have been asked to park their vehicles between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. as a symbolic protest. Godowns will display protest banners. Customers will be requested not to book or load goods on the day.”

However, another transport association All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) are of the view that the call for Bharat Bandh is ‘cosmetic in nature’.

“The one day call of the strike is purely cosmetic and it does not serve any purpose,” a circular released by AIMTC read. “Our transport sector is reeling under most adverse conditions and there are burning issues of rising fuel prices, GST and E-way Bill related issues, corruption, scrapping policy, TDS, and presumptive tax, which are indeed the key concerns of the transport fraternity of India. The demands cannot be self-suiting but should be having an over-arching importance, comprehensive and reflect the voice of the fraternity,” it added.

The new e-way bill rules suggest that all goods must move 200 km per day else the e-way bill can expire. If the e-way bill isn’t extended within 8 hours of expiry, the penalty is 200% of the tax amount. (or 100% of the invoice value under Section 129 of the CGST Act, 2017.)

“For small and medium transporters, especially those involved in part-load movement of goods or retail transportation, the new rule means a burden with penalties running into lakhs of rupees for circumstantial delays. This may lead to completely shutting their shop,” Mr. Arya said.

“The AITWA demands abolition of the Bill as the E-invoice is good enough for preventing tax evasion. Vehicles may be tracked by the government using FasTag connectivity to E-invoice. Transporters should not be subject to any penalty for any time-based compliance target of transit.”

AIMTC, while making their stance clear, asserted, “We reiterate that AIMTC does not endorse the call given by politically affiliated organisations on 26th Feb, 2021. We are not a part of it and our 95 lakh trucks will ply on that day and booking offices of all transport companies will remain open.”

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