Gov’t, ruling party agree to introduce new trucking freight rate system

SEOUL-- The government and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) agreed Monday to promptly introduce a new freight rate system for cargo truckers.

The two sides held a policy consultation meeting to discuss measures to normalize the cargo transport industry following a nationwide truckers' strike late last year.

They agreed to expedite the legislation of a new standard fare system to replace the Safe Trucking Freight Rates System that expired at the end of last year.

Truck drivers struck for about two weeks until Dec. 9, demanding the extension of the system that required consignors and transport companies to guarantee minimum pay for truckers. The government rejected the demand.

Under the new system, cargo owners will be no longer obliged to provide mandatory rates, though transport companies will still be required to do so. The government will announce standard freight rates every year to serve as guidelines for the industry.

Transport services and truckers' union are opposed to the proposal claiming it is unfairly favorable to cargo owners.

The government and the PPP said they will submit a related bill to the National Assembly soon and will proceed with it as a priority agenda item for the upcoming parliamentary session.

The two sides also agreed to crack down on transport companies that do not actually operate trucks but only lease out cargo truck license plates to car owners for fees.

The government said it will conduct tax investigation into such companies and will take punitive measures, including revoking their business licenses, if they are found to have evaded taxes.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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