Laxmi Capital News
Transportation cost still the same despite end of syndicates

End of transportationsyndicates was expected to promote fair competition among truck and transportoperators, bringing down transportation cost. But this has not happened,industrialists say.

Theofficial end of transportation cartels has not lowered transportation cost asexpected, and syndicates continue to exist in one form or the other, accordingto industrialists in Biratnagar, Birgunj and Bhairahawa that Republica talkedto.

Truckoperators had initially lowered transportation cost marginally after transportentrepreneurs agreed to end all forms of syndicates on May 7. But it lasted forabout a week only.

Inaddition to making public transportation easier, the end of transportationsyndicates was expected to lower price of consumable goods providing somerelief to consumers. But price of consumable goods have increased instead.

Talkingto Republica, Saroj Paudel, an official of Arghakhanchi Cement Pvt Ltd based inBhairahawa, said that transportation costs per 10 tons of cement fromBhairahawa to Kathmandu had initially come down by Rs 4,000 to Rs 20,000 afterthe end of syndicate. “But it lasted for only about a week. Now, truckoperators are again charging Rs 24,000 per trip,” Paudel said, adding thatsyndicate was still existing in one form or the other.

Earlier,tucks were being operated on a rotational basis by a committee formed by truckowners. All the trucks owner used to charge rate fixed by the committee. Thoughsuch committees were declared void by the government, they continue to operatein one way or the other, say industrialists.

Similarly,Subodh Gupta, who runs a rice mill in Birgunj, said industrialists like himhave seen only a marginal drop in transportation cost. “Though costs initiallycome down slightly, the mindset of truck operators is still the same,” headded.

Truckoperators currently charge Rs 25,000 to transport 10 tons of goods from Birgunjto Kathmandu. Transport cost before transportation syndicates were declaredillegal was also the same.

MaheshK Jaju of Biratnagar-based Asian Thai Foods Pvt Ltd said that cost to transportgoods to Kathmandu has increased by Rs 5,000 to Rs 35,000. “The rise intransport cost is partially due to the fact that truck operators do not givemuch priority to Biratnagar which is at the last point of service compared toChitwan or Birgunj,” said Jaju.

Truckoperators, however, denied overcharging industries. Rather, they attribute therise in transportation fare to hike in diesel price which has increased by Rs24 per liter over the past five months.

RajendraShrestha, who was also the general secretary of Federation of Truck and TankerEntrepreneurs Association Nepal before such bodies were declared illegal by thegovernment, said that the fares that truckers were charging were less than thefares fixed by the government. “This is because of competition among truckoperators. The marginal hike in transportation fare is due to increment in theprice of diesel,” added Shreshta.

Meanwhile,traders and suppliers have recently increased the price of commodities inKathmandu and major cities citing reasons like additional taxes and thedecision to end tax rebates announced through the budget tabled in theparliament two weeks ago.

Source: MyRepublica,13th June 2018

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