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Transporters threaten strike from Dec 20

Transporters threatened to go on an indefinite nation-wide strike from December 20 if their demands for lower diesel prices and abolition of service and toll taxes are not met.

business Updated: Dec 09, 2008 15:36 IST

Transporters on Tuesday threatened to go on an indefinite nation-wide strike from December 20 if their demands for lower diesel prices and abolition of service and toll taxes are not met.

All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the apex body of all truckers' associations commanding over 48 lakh trucks across the country, is demanding lowering of diesel prices by Rs 10 per litre.

"The diesel prices should be slashed by Rs 10 per litre when the international prices of crude oil have gone down to about 40 dollars per barrel," AIMTC President Charan Singh Lohara told PTI.

Lohara also demanded exemption from service tax levied on transporters. "In spite of certain relaxations promised earlier this year, we are still getting inflated Service Tax notices from the government," he added.

It may be recalled that the truckers had gone on a nation-wide strike in July demanding a host of relief measures including abolition of Service Tax. The government had then conceded to their demands by announcing relaxations in it.

Lohara also said that the government must do away with toll taxes on all highways for six months, since the freight rates have fallen by 25-30 per cent and the transporters are facing an excess capacity of 25 per cent.

Transporters also want moratorium on all instalments and waiver of interest on truck finance for at least six months.

Other demands include provision for free movement of all trucks all over the country without any national/state permits and fixation of minimum freight in view of high input costs.

To press for an early resolution to their demands, the truckers would stage a dharna in the national capital on Wednesday.