Enhance withdrawal limit to avert disruption in supplies of essentials: Industry

New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) The apex body representing the cargo and passenger transport industry has warned that the supply of essential items can get adversely impacted, if the current cash withdrawal limit is not enhanced.

According to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the financial crunch in the aftermath of the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes has engulfed the cash-dependent industry in a crisis.

“AIMTC submits that the limit of Rs 10,000 withdrawal per day and maximum of Rs 20,000 per week is miniscule and has paralysed the transport business which is poised to come to a standstill,” the apex body of cargo and passenger transporters said in a statement.

“Essential supplies like milk, vegetables, fruits, medicines will get affected with immediate effect.”

The umbrella body which covers over 3,500 taluka, district and state level federations and transport associations, reasoned that 80 per cent of the industry’s operational expenses are settled through cash.

“Rs 1,194 crore is required on a daily basis by the transport sector for its operations. A small operator having 10 trucks would require up to Rs 350,000 per day of cash to tide over his requirement, which is unsustainable under the present cap,” the statement said.

“As per the finance act section – 6D(d) of IT Act — Rs 35,000 per truck per trip is allowed for en route expenses.”

The AIMTC pointed out that the financial crunch has also negatively impacted the movement of passenger and tourist vehicles in the country.

“Tourist buses and cabs are supposed to pay taxes in cash at respective borders of the states,” the statement said.

“CNG is available in cash only. Taxis, maxi-cabs and school buses that run on CNG will go off the road without cash availability.”

The industry body elaborated that the road transport sector is the highest tax payer to the exchequer.

In 2015-16, the sector contributed 4.8 per cent in India’s GDP — worth Rs 544,800 crore on an annual basis or Rs 1,492 crore per day.