Transporters on Friday gave a call for an indefinite nationwide strike from January 5 to press for their demands, including reduction in diesel prices.
The strike call has been given by All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), to which the entire road transport community comprising 4,000 associations is affiliated.
"Today, the transporters' survival is threatened. The Central Government's attitude towards transporters and repeated failures to implement its promises made during the past few agitations prompted us to call this strike," Mahendra Arya, former President of Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA), told reporters in Mumbai.
BGTA is one of the groups affiliated to the apex trade body of road transport industry.
AIMTC had been repeatedly highlighting various problems being faced by the transporters to the ministries and departments concerned, he said.
"It is feared the proposed strike would bring life in many of the commercials centers to a standstill as the transports community, which plies nearly 50 lakh commercial vehicles across the country, needs sops and bailout package from the government," Arya said.
The transporters are demanding reduction in diesel price by Rs 10 per liter and uniform 4 per cent VAT on the fuel among other things, he said.
"The international crude oil prices have dropped to USD 38 per barrel, but the government is still using the price reduction as a gimmick before every election. Moreover, the tax structure is such that almost 55 per cent of the diesel prices constitute of State and Central taxes."