Why Are Schools Colleges And Offices Shut Today? What Is This Strike?

Is the government thinking what's best for business by ignoring the consequences the common man will have to face through the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act?

Thousands of schools and colleges are shut across the country today as the All India Motor Transport Workers’ Organisation decided to go on a full day strike protesting the bill being passed for amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act.

The strike is a result of the continuous increase in petroleum products and the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill – the Communist Party of India (Marxist) came to second the decision by motor vehicle federation.

The worst effects of these strikes are being seen in the southern states of India, to such an extent that university exams in KERALA had to be postponed due to non-availability of transport.

Southern states of India are seeing very bad effects of the strike as colleges and offices close down for the day.

Any major statements by officials or association heads are still awaited.

What Is The Amendment In The Motor Vehicles Act?

The amendment has about 17 highlight points, out of which some major issues are the cancellation in a hike in insurance premium and a restriction in a price hike of petroleum product.

The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill and with the nod from the Rajya Sabha, it will become compulsory to use branded spare parts, private contractors and manufacturers will enter the public transport arena, and it will be mandatory to get repairs and servicing in company service centres only.

This amendment is projected to decrease pollution to a large extent, and highly mitigate the risk of vehicle breakdown or fire accidents due to the use of branded spare parts only.

Minister of Road Transport and Highways – Nitin Gadkari addresses the Lok Sabha about the MV Amendment Bill

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The Effect On General Public

With the use of branded spare parts being mandatory, the amendments will cost lakhs of jobs of roadside mechanics and small-scale spare parts manufacturers.

Lakhs of roadside mechanics might lose their jobs after the bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Petroleum prices have seen almost a weekly rise of 4% with some small falls in the past few months.

The fluctuations, mostly going up, have made it increasingly difficult for auto rickshaw drives and other small private vehicle drives to meet ends.

On average, every big state in India has about 5000+ roadside mechanics who will lose their only source of livelihood at an exponential rate with the bill.

This big move by the government will expedite the privatization of public transport services leading to monopolization of fares to the detriment of the general public.

More than 30 lakh workers, drivers and mechanics are a part of this one-day strike against is seemingly in best interest of the government and large-scale private manufacturers.

Will the bill still be passed, or will it get a stay order? Will the amendment be in best interest of the general public or will it prove devastating to the financially lower cadre of the general public?

All of this remains to be seen in the near future. It is expected that the federation will keep the strike going if the government does not pay heed to their demands out of grave discomfort.

Image Sources: Google

Sources: The Times of India, The Hindu, The News Minute

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