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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Step in to bail out the sinking auto industry Mumbai autorickshaw union

Step in to bail out the sinking auto industry: Mumbai autorickshaw union

Updated on: 21 January,2022 08:06 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar |

Union seeks welfare measures for auto drivers including monthly allowance

Step in to bail out the sinking auto industry: Mumbai autorickshaw union

Union demands suspension of distribution of permits to govt employees who own and run rickshaws

Mumbai autorickshaw union called for several welfare measures for its drivers, including suspension of distribution of permits and licences to government employees who own and run rickshaws, depriving auto drivers of it. The union has also sought monthly allowance to keep the industry floating, as pandemic losses have been mounting.

In a letter to Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab on Wednesday, the Mumbai Autorickshaw Taximens’ Union leader Shashank Rao said it was time the government stepped in to bail out the sinking auto industry and offer a monthly allowance to poor drivers to keep them going.

“The pandemic has been the worst period for all of us. However, the autorickshaw industry has been particularly bad due to poor patronage. The drivers and owners of rickshaws have diligently followed up on every regulation and restriction so far, which has, however, resulted in affecting the business badly. We demand compensation of Rs 10,000 per month to keep them going and setting up a welfare board for them,” Rao said in the letter, a copy of which is with mid-day.

The letter states that many auto drivers and owners have bought the vehicles on loans and need to pay the EMIs whether business happens or not. “This has led to more of a concern as loan disbursing agencies harass poor auto drivers. The government should intervene here and give justice. We also seek to reduce the fines and penalties,” he added.

Pointing out at the practice of freehand distribution of auto permits to everyone, Rao sternly demanded that many government employees had procured auto permits, leading to imbalance. “We demand that auto permits issued to all government employees be revoked as early as possible so that they can be diverted to all those poor hopefuls who require them. For government employees, it just becomes an additional source of income,” he said.

However, the transport department officials have said it was not possible to immediately comment on the matter as many of the demands placed would require policy decisions to be made on behalf of the government.

Key demands by the union

>> Rs 10,000 per month as Covid-19 compensation
>> Slashing of fines and penalties
>> Offer justice to those who are unable to pay the loans
>> Setting up a welfare board to look into the demands of auto drivers
>> Stop freehand distribution of auto permits to government employees

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