Truckers put off strike on Kamal Nath’s assurance


New Delhi: Truck operators Wednesday deferred their decision to launch an indefinite strike from April 5 after Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath’s assurance on introduction of a new composite tax regime for national permit.

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The truck operators proposed to protest the recent hike in fuel prices and raise issues affecting the industry.

In a written letter to G.R. Shanmugappa, president of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the minister said: “The ministry will make all-out efforts to introduce the new composite fee regime (Rs.15,000 per annum per truck) for national permit by May 1.” At present, it is Rs.1 lakh per annum per truck.

Kamal Nath said that “the issue relating to the levy of tall multi-axle vehicles is under active consideration of the government.”

On the issue of abolition of anti-dumping duty on import of tyres, Nath said the ministry has already taken up the matter with the commerce ministry.

The minister also assured the truck operators that the ministry will hold meetings with the AIMTC representatives every month on transport related matters.

On Tuesday, after the one-and-half-hour long meeting with the representatives of the truck operators, Nath had sought a day’s time to reply to their demands.

Shanmugappa said the AIMTC Wednesday constituted a high powered committee to further negotiate with the government.

“The progress made by the government on its written commitment will be reviewed at the meeting of the managing committee to be held in Gujarat in May and a future course of action shall be decided thereafter,” he said.