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SAD asks CM to extend financial relief of Rs 5,000 per month to taxi and auto- drivers

Chandigarh, (Dr. Abhinav Kalra) – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to extend financial relief of Rs 5,000 per month to drivers of all taxis, auto-rickshaws, school buses and cabs as well as freight carriers including tempos and trucks besides waiving off all taxes due from them during the lockdown period.

In a statement here, former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said drivers and owners of thousands of taxis and auto-rickshaws in all towns and cities of Punjab had been badly affected during the last three months with many of them forced to partake ‘langar’ from gurdwaras and social organizations. He said similarly drivers of school and private buses and trucks, mini buses, maxi-cabs as well as other freight carriers had been rendered jobless for three months. He said the Congress government should extend financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per month to all public vehicle drivers possessing a valid driver’s license for the last three months till such time the situation normalizes.

Dr Daljit Cheema said the government should also forgo all commercial taxes from owners of these vehicles be it road tax or Permit fee or municipal tax for a six month period including the three months which had already passed. “The vehicle owners should be liable for refund of any tax paid by them during this period”. He said these measures were essential to save the owners of these commercial vehicles from going under as they are already unable to pay bank installment of loans taken by to buy the vehicles.

He said the government should form a committee to assess the loss incurred by the owners of private commercial vehicles so as to devise a strategy to take this sector out of the red. He said simultaneously all rickshaw drivers including e-rickshaws who were unable to earn a living during the lockdown period should also be compensated to the tune of Rs 2,500 per month

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