Extortion: Truckers warn of wheal-jam strike

KARACHI: Leaders of All Pakistan Truck-Trailer Owners Goods & Brokers Welfare Association on Tuesday demanded of the government to take stern action against so-called transport groups involved in collecting extortion from the transporters.

Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club, General Secretary of the Association Nisar Hussain Jafri said in view of growing corruption and extortion demands they established a welfare organization which aims at to serve the transporters of the four provinces of the country. Telling about the achievements of the association, he said their association had bought two ambulances for emergency medical aid to transport workers.

Jafri said the transport industry is considered the backbone of any economy and no any business was completed without transportation. He claimed their industry pays as much as tax to federal and provincial governments as any other industry. He said they pay about Rs80 million to governments on account of toll taxes, excise duties, property taxes, utility taxes etc; however, Sindh government has slapped 5% additional tax on them which he said was unjust.

He said on their request Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah suspended this tax on temporary bases; however, he demanded to eliminate this tax completely.

Showing concern on the growing activities of the extortion mafia, he said transporters were facing immense hardships due to the demands to pay extortion money.

He said security should be provided to their vehicles. He demanded to establish police or rangers check posts at truck stands and sensitive areas, besides proper patrolling on routes of interior Sindh. He demanded that government should make bound SHOs to register the FIRs of transporters.

He said National Highway Authority (NHA) collects the millions of rupees in revenue per year but the roads remain in poor condition.

He warned: “If their demands do not fulfill in 72 hours they will start a wheal jam strike all over the country.”

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