Truckers for GST inclusion of diesel

Truckers went on a two-day strike in early October with a demand to include diesel fuel in GST. Protesting against the disruptive policies under GST and the inclusion of diesel in GST, truckers, claim industry sources, have not been happy with the government’s decision to review fuel prices every day. Sources draw attention to truckers complaining that the number of challenges they have come to face after the implementation of GST are actually more than they faced earlier. There’s utter confusion and chaos, they state, due to varied policies under GST that have been imposed on the road transport sector.

With fuel and toll accounting for 70 per cent of a truck’s operating cost, truckers, sources say, are of the opinion that there should be uniformity of fuel pricing across the country. Out of the ambit of GST, petrol and diesel continue to be heavily taxed by the central government as well as the state governments. The inability of transporters to lift goods from unregistered users (many SMEs continue to grapple with GST) since it would require them to pay GST on their behalf under Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) a drop in business is said to have been the case. Transporters can avail Forward Charge (FCM) where they need to pay 12 per cent GST but claim full input credit. Claimed sources that the laws in the GST regime are leading to coercive registration and unnecessary compliances by truckers and transporters. With hardly any change in travel time post GST, truckers and bus owners are said to be planning an indefinite strike for a toll gate-free India. India has 371 toll plazas.

Three-wheeler sales revive

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Three-wheeler sales are reviving, and also exports. Providing a reason for companies like Bajaj Auto to cheer up, the reason for the revival is said to be the discontinuation of permits in Maharashtra, the requirement for new permits in Delhi, and the replacement of two-stroke three-wheelers with four-stroke equivalents in Bangalore. Claim industry sources that there is an incremental market of 1.5 to two-lakh three-wheelers. While the revival in exports is said to be gradual, the rise in domestic demand looks more heartening. Sources draw attention to the four per cent rise in Bajaj Auto three wheeler sales volumes in the second quarter of the current fiscal. This, they explain, marks the first positive volume growth year-on-year after a span of past few quarters. The three wheeler segment posted a 14 per cent growth in the second quarter of this fiscal.

Mahindra sees heavy CV sales rise

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By selling 1,311 units of tractor-trailers in the first half of FY2017-18, Mahindra Trucks and Buses is claimed to have out paced the competition to reach the fourth place in truck segments above 16.2-tonnes. Drawing attention to the company posting a growth of over 90 per cent in the tractor-trailer segment, which is typically of 40- and 49-tonnes, against market growth of 40 per cent, sources cite that the company has crossed the 4.5 per cent market share mark in heavy trucks. In September 2017, the company sold 3,497 trucks. Present in the medium and heavy commercial space, Mahindra Trucks and Buses is claimed to have posted a growth of 34 per cent in the first half of FY2017-18 against a market growth of seven-per cent. The reason for heavy truck buyers turning to Mahindra is said to be the good power to weight ratio that its 7.2-litre engine offers. Until before BSIV, the same engine was looked upon as more powerful, and less efficient thereafter. The other reason is claimed to be the offering of fuel smart technology and a host of after sales initiatives. Good discounts are also said to woo customers to the brand.

Michelin X Guard for AL Captain

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Michelin has announced that it will supply X Guard TBRs to Ashok Leyland Captain 3718 Plus long-haul CVs. Attributing the selection of X Guard to its ability to offer superior fuel efficiency and optimise the payload, the company, according to Jean-Dominique Senard, Chief Executive Officer of Michelin Group, conceived the X Guard to address the Indian market’s need for a tyre that is fuel efficient, safe and lasts longer. “We adapted the very best of Michelin technologies to produce a premium tyre at an affordable price,” he said. To address the demand from replacement market and original equipment manufacturers, Michelin has commissioned a new production line for X Guard at its Chennai plant. The line will help the company to double its current capacity by 2018. The Michelin X Guard TBRs are claimed to offer up to 10 per cent higher fuel savings.

LNG fuel for Cvs

LNG propelled medium and heavy CVs are likely to change the game. They are expected to triumph over CVs propelled by conventional fuels, and could provide the advantage of cost among others. More pure than CNG, and requiring a storage tank that is almost equivalent the diesel tank in a CV, LNG infrastructure could be easily developed with the help of cyrogenic tankers and LNG dispensing stations across highways at reasonable distances. A spanner in the works however could be the lack of cryogenic tank makers and suppliers, cite Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) sources. Those who have the capability to produce cryogenic tanks may find it difficult to keep up with the demand, they aver. S.P. Singh, Senior Fellow & Coordinator, IFTRT, is of the opinion that the next five years should be fixed as the timeline, and CV makers should produce certain per centage of M&HCVs that run on LNG.

Apollo LogiSolutions wins innovation award

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Apollo LogiSolutions has won the award for Best Supply Chain Operational Innovation of the Year. The award was given to the company during the 11th Express, Logistics & Supply Chain Conclave, an end-to-end supply chain management platform. With a pan-India presence, Apollo LogiSolutions, according to Raaja Kanwar, the managing director of the company, provides seamless and innovative end-to-end supply chain solutions, and is happy to win the award since it recognises such abilities. Aiming to create a one stop logistics solution, Apollo LogiSolutions is working to provide seamless services to its existing and potential clients. It is looking at a strong growth in the logistic sector as a 3PL logistics player. The company is said to be planning an increase in fleet size to 300 trucks by early next year. It has patented truck bodies for specialised movement of Hero two wheelers. Some 220 trucks have been entrusted with the task.

Rs.7 lakh crore national highway plan

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The Cabinet has approved the biggest ever highway development plan to develop and expand approximately 83,000 km of roads at an investment of Rs.6.9 lakh crore by 2022, claim industry sources. They cite that the plan includes the new 28,400 km Bharatmala highway programme connecting border areas of the country. Expected to push the economic activity up and improve the traffic flow across key corridors by providing uniform four-lane roads, the plan is said to include short corridors that are access-controlled for faster movement of cargo vehicles. Claimed industry sources that the plan has been engineered to help a truck cover at least 500 km daily. Cargo vehicles in developed countries cover a distance of 700 to 800 km per day. To reduce logistics cost and help the roll out of smart-tag based tolling system, the highway development plan is aimed at transforming the road transport sector.