PUTRAJAYA: Lorry operators and owners claim it is impossible for them to reduce transportation charges despite diesel being cheaper because the rates are “ridiculously low” for today’s market.
Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association chairman Er Sui See said the ceiling price set by the Government for them was 25 sen per tonne for every mile, and this was determined back in 1958.
Er said the association had informed Domestic Trade and Consu- mer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad during a meeting on Monday that it could not meet the Government’s request to lower charges, simply because even the maximum rate was way too low.
“As it is, we only began imposing customers the ceiling rate (of 25 sen) after the price of diesel went up by a ringgit in June.
“Today, although the pump price has gone down, other costs continue to escalate, including spare parts, tyres, insurance and employment.
“We can barely survive despite charging customers the ceiling price. It is different if 25 sen per tonne per mile was the going rate in 1958 but this is 50 years later.”
He added that even if the lorry operators and owners wanted to, they simply could not afford to bring the rates down,
Er said a handful of the association members decided to “close shop” as they were fed up with the constant increase in operating costs.
Bumiputra Tanker Operators Association president Nazri Mohamed said the association also had “no good news to deliver to our customers”, adding that there would be no reduction in charges in the near future.
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