Transporters threaten strike from April 5


Kolkata: More than 70 lakh goods-carrying vehicles are likely to be off the roads across the country as the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) – India’s largest apex organisation of road transporters – Wednesday threatened strike from April 5 if the increased duty on diesel was not rolled back

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“We have already given notice to the Union government requesting them to roll back the increased duty on diesel. We have also appealed to the government to address matters like issuance of single national permit to truckers and review heavy toll charges on commercial vehicles,” AIMTC president G.R Shanmugappa told a press conference here.

“The landing cost of diesel is Rs.17.40 per litre whereas the selling cost is almost double the landing cost. We are under extreme pressure to increase freight rates due to highly competitive environment and dwindling margins…we are not against the tax, but it should be fair, reasonable and tolerable. The increased duty should be rolled back by March 31, 2010,” Shanmugappa added.

He said the central government should also implement the “new national permit scheme” on or before March 31 this year.

“More than a year has passed but it is still not notified. The central government entered into an agreement with AIMTC in April last year to implement the scheme and charge Rs.15,000 per annum of national permit fees from each goods-carrying vehicle,” he added.

The AIMTC president also criticised the multiple taxation on this industry, saying it should be immediately done away with.

“If the government does not address these issues, we’ll be left with no alternative but to close our operations from the midnight of April 5, 2010,” he said.

Shanmugappa said more than 70 lakh commercial goods-carrying vehicles would be off the roads and nearly 135,000 goods booking offices would stop working from April 5 if the government failed to meet their demand.