The Centre on Saturday enlisted the services of striking truckers' rival union to break the logjam that has pushed prices of essentials higher, even as more states invoked ESMA to arrest those disrupting goods movement.
The government, which yesterday said it will ply 15-20 lakh trucks and let private vehicles carry goods without permit, called a meeting with representatives of All India Confederation of Goods Vehicles Owners' Associations (ACOGOA), which claims command over 40 lakh trucks across the country.
"We have invited representatives of ACOGOA for a meeting," Transport Ministry Joint Secretary SK Dash said, without elaborating the agenda.
The ACOGOA is the rival union of All India Motor Transport Congress, whose members have been on strike since Sunday midnight demanding lower diesel prices, duty-free import of tyres and exemption from service tax, among others. The strike has sent prices of essential commodities higher, while states initiated action against truckers. Madhya Pradesh became the seventh state to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act.
Emerging from the meeting, ACOGOA Vice-President Chittranjan Dass said, "We are not participating in the truckers strike."
Asked what was the meeting about, he said, "We discussed our own issues... We requested the government to abolish the import duty on radial tyres."
"They (Govt) have assured us of a reduction in diesel prices," he said, but did not divulge the specifics of the expected price cuts.
ACOGOA President Channa Reddy, who also attended the meeting said the association member have been transporting goods wherever there are loads.