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Lorry drivers on strike in Daghestan

30 March 2017
Lorry drivers protest in Daghestan (Still from Youtube video)

Several hundred lorry drivers participated in a rally against the new ‘Platon’ road tax in Daghestan on 30 March. Protests against the new system are taking place all over Russia.

The Platon tax applies to lorries over 12 tonnes, and is designed to recover some of the costs of repairing motorways in the country. The system was first introduced in Russia in 2015, with the initial tariff set at 3.73 ($0.06) per kilometre. Following massive protests from lorry drivers all over Russia, the government introduced a grace period and lowered the tariff to 1.53 ($0.02) per kilometre. Last week the government announced that from 24 March the tariff will increase to 1.91 ($0.03) per kilometre.

According to local media reports, 200–600 people participated in rallies in Daghestan. They were held, in the cities of Khasavyurt, Kizlyar, Kizilyurt, and near the village of Manas.

‘Every lorry driver in Daghestan joined the protests and will not work. Maybe the authorities will listen to us once the shelves are empty in stores’, Moskovsky Kosmomolets quoted the organiser of the protests in Daghestan, Rustam Mallamagomedov.

‘Platon is for the private pockets of several people. Neither the people nor the state benefit from this system. The major argument for the system is that with the funds raised from Platon they will repair the roads. However, they repaired roads just recently, and also people pay taxes.’

According to a source in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Daghestan, the protests went ahead in a peaceful manner.

‘The lorry drivers in Daghestan do not speak about any demands. The protest is peaceful without any violations’, the source told us.

On 29 March, Daghestan’s Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Sergey Karpov and head of the Department for Public Order Mikail Makasharipov, met with the lorry drivers.

‘Police officers are monitoring the situation to ensure that the drivers do not violate law and order; they talked with the drivers to ensure that they don’t interfere with passing vehicles’, the source told OC Media.