Dharamsala, December 30
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Himachal Pradesh, has written to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu to abolish truck unions in the state.
Himachal CII chairman Subodh Gupta, in a letter to the CM, said due to absence of rail network in the state, the industries were dependent on trucks to transport raw material and finished goods in and out of state. The transport union system is cartelised and charges exorbitantly from the industry. In some areas of the state the transportation rates were 30 to 40% higher than the prevailing market rates. The union also resorts to unfair trade practices that includes taking law into their own hands by illegally holding vehicles of the industry by force.
He has alleged that not only the cement industry but other industries in the state were finding it difficult to run their plants due to high freight rates. The monopolisation by the truck unions was a major bottleneck for the growth of the industry in the state.
Gupta said that the HP High Court had issued an order to the state to ensure free flow of transportation of industrial goods in the state. However, the HC order was not being implemented. The industry should be free to hire the trucks from anywhere in the country.
He alleged that the monopolisation of truck unions was hitting the brand Himachal in terms of attracting investment. The CII has urged the CM to disband the truck unions. The CII has thrown its weight behind the Adani industries that has taken over ACC and Ambuja cement plants and has locked horns with the truck unions of the region. The Adani group has stopped production in ACC plant in Bilaspur and Ambuja plants in Solan districts due to high tariff being charged by local truck unions.
Besides the CII, Una industries association has also supported the demand for disbanding of truck unions in the state. CS Kapoor, general secretary of the union, alleged that the Congress government in Punjab led by Capt Amarinder Singh had disbanded all truck unions in the state. So the Congress government in Himachal should also follow suit, he said.
Resorts to unfair trade practices
- Himachal CII chairman, in a letter to the CM, said in some areas of the state, the transportation rates were 30 to 40% higher than the prevailing market prices
- The union also resorts to unfair trade practices. Even other industries in the state were finding it difficult to run their plants due to high freight charges
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