The slump in factory output has sparked an 18-27 per cent drop in truck rentals on trunk routes during April against the rates on a sequential basis in the open market. This has prompted truckers to seek relaxation in non-performing asset (NPA) norms and halting the seizure of vehicles as this could impact the transport of essential items.
“The truck rentals slumped as factory output fell 35-40 per cent because of production cuts and closures in many states triggered by the present wave of Covid, resulting in local lockdowns,” said S.P. Singh, senior fellow and coordinator, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training.
Also, there was 10-15 per cent drop in arrivals of fruits and vegetables in mandis (or Agricultural Price Marketing Committees). IFTRT projects the truck freight rentals and sales to remain timid for the current quarter and most likely for the next quarter of the current fiscal.
As of now, there is no specific financial package for micro, small and medium enterprises in trade and manufacturing to lift the economy, the association said.
The road transport business consists of 90 per cent of small truck ownerships and has been hit hard, observed IFTRT based on 75 key truck and trade centres in the country.
Separately, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC)— the transport union – has also sought moratorium in equal monthly instalments in the prevailing scenario and asked for relaxation of non-performing-asset NPA norms and halting the seizure of vehicles.