In a recent report by the All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) and the Indian Road Transport Development Association (IRTDA), it has been revealed that there is a marginal 2% Year-on-Year (YoY) decline in the issuance and renewal of National Permits (NPs). From January to December 2022, 14.33 lakh vehicles obtained national permits, while in the corresponding period this calendar year, the figure slightly decreased to 14.19 lakh vehicles.
This trend has sparked concerns, especially considering the approximately 9 lakh commercial vehicles sold this calendar year. Of particular worry is the potential increase in the number of vehicles going off-road.
NPs enable vehicles to move interstate, irrespective of state taxes. Considering that an NP costs around INR 16500 to the truck owner, even a ‘marginal’ dip in NPs could result in a significant reduction in revenue for transport departments nationwide.
Industry body AITWA speculates that small fleet owners are refraining from purchasing new trucks or gradually exiting the business due to increased operational costs and capital investment. Abhishek Gupta (General Secretary, AITWA) expressing apprehension about the situation said, “The regular increase in commercial vehicle prices is making it economically unviable for them. Loan defaults and the impact of increased income tax, toll charges, and overall inflation are further contributing to the unfavorable conditions in the trucking industry. Additionally, the industry faces a substantial burden due to driver shortages. Protecting small truck owners, who contribute to 70% of the trucks on the road, should be a crucial agenda for our Ministry,” he emphasized.
The concerns raised by AITWA shed light on the challenges faced by small fleet owners and the potential implications for the transport sector’s revenue and overall industry health.