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Transporters strike

The countrywide strike by transporters reached the third consecutive day forcing cargo supplies across the country to a halt and increasing the risk of imminent shortages. The transporters have probably realised that a strike is the best remedy to their problems.
Good transporters have suspended their operations over a hefty increase in fines, and the axle load policy regime which prevents overloading on highways and motorways. They claimed that a strike was the last resort as their appeals failed to convince the authorities to take action.
The government was forced to send the top leadership to negotiate with transporters, but even stalwarts like the Governors of Sindh and Punjab, along with PTI’s senior leader Jehangir Khan Tareen, were unsuccessful.
Trucking has been recognized as an industry in the country. Transporters paying millions in taxes and play a major role in economic activities. The transporters have decried that they were not taken on board over the recent policy by the government. The fine for speeding on highways has been hiked to an exorbitant Rs5000, which may not be affordable by many truck drivers.
Transporters should realise that the solution does not lie with observing strikes. There has been a rise in fines even for cars, motorbikes, and public service vehicles, but these segments are able to resist such moves. Highway authorities claim that higher penalties have lead to safer roads.
Transporters are not ready to accept the strong arguments in favour of fines and are continuing the strike. There are over 7500 trucks standing on the outskirts of Karachi, while supplies to the rest of the country have been halted. This is resulting in huge losses for businesses and the economy as well.
Transporters have previously gone on strike for several reasons including a demand for rise in fares, increasing fuel crisis, not allowing heavy vehicles in cities, and not receiving compensation for damaged vehicles. They should realize that a strike only aggravates the situation and does not resolve it. The solution lies in effectively negotiating with the government.
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