New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) - The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is saving fleet owners between 24-36 trucking hours, besides around Rs 7,500 per trip at the tax check posts, which have since been dismantled, an industry association said on Monday.
"Our quick check has shown that on an average a lorry or truck runs for 10-12 hours a day and should cover a distance of about 2,200 km between, say, Delhi-Chennai in three days."
"However, traversing through different states and braving the stoppages at several check posts of VAT, Octroi, other local taxes it was taking five to six days," Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said here in a statement.
At least 24-36 hours would easily be saved for these trunk routes after dismantling of the check posts, it said 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 5,000-7,500 per trip. That has also been done away with."
"For now, it has come as a big relief for the transporters who say, the ultimate advantage is accruing to the customers and to the trade and manufacturing value supply chain," Assocham said.
The interaction with the fleet owners revealed that before start of 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 routes 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. Assocham hoped that further improvement would be 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 bye-passes are constructed around the major cities so that the truckers can ply seamlessly," Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said.
Improvement in freight movement through road and rail would not only result in a huge cost saving for the trade and industry but would also take India quite high on the global index of Ease of Doing Business, the chamber said.