Bringing fuel under GST ambit and deferment of EMI for their vehicles for a few more months is among the requests made by cab and autorickshaw drivers who are in a fix due to the heavy restrictions on travel due to the lockdown. Drivers attached to Urimai Kural Otunar Thozhirsangam in Tuticorin submitted a representation to the Tamil Nadu chief minister seeking his intervention to help them get some relief till they limp back to normalcy.
“By May 17, we will be under lockdown for 54 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our livelihood is solely dependent on the travel pattern of the public. We are now struggling for our next meal and have knocked on the doors of the government,” said association district secretary M Jayaraj while talking about their six different requests to the state and union governments.
The drivers expressed shock and disappointment over the drastic increase in tax while the international crude oil price has hit rock bottom. At this juncture, they said that fuel should be brought under the GST ambit under which the highest tax rate is only 28%. Drivers said that they spend several hundred rupees on fuel every day and this will give them some relief. The benefit too could be passed on to the customers.
Their demand comes a day after the state government increased VAT on petrol and diesel. The said even after the lockdown, it would take a long time to revive the economy. So they want the government to defer payment of loans for our vehicles by three more months till the end of September 2020. They sought extension of deadline to renew licence, permits, badge and licence till September 30 and closing down all the toll plazas across the state till that date. Seeking a monthly dole of Rs 2,000 for the drivers, they also made an appeal to the government to permitting early operation of taxis and autorickshaws.