Kochi, Oct 8 (UNI) Nearly 80,000 lorries would go off the roads in Kerala from the midnight of October 18 unless the State Government concedes the vehicle owners' demand regarding the payment of arrears to the Employees Welfare Fund.
Talking to newspersons here today, Kerala State Lorry Owners Federation president, P M Mohammad Ali and Secretary, said the stir was aimed mainly against the State Government's move not to accept vehicle tax till the owners pay the arrears of the employees welfare fund for the past 30 months.
They said the Federation was not against the fund but the drastic hike in the owners contribution from Rs 200 per lorry to Rs 200 per employee, effected by the previous UDF Government.
Stating that this was a big burden for the lorry owners to bear, they said the Federation had represented both to the previous UDF Government and the present LDF administration to go back to the old system.
However, the demand had not been met so far and the Government had now decided not to accept vehicle tax from the owners, who had not contributed to the fund for the past two-and-half-years.
Containers and tankers, however, had not joined the strike call so far, they added.