K'taka lorry owners to support nationwide truckers strike

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Bangalore, June 27 (UNI) More than 45,000 heavy goods vehicles will be off the roads in Karnataka in response to the All India Motor Transport Congress' call for a nationwide indefinite strike call from July one midnight, demanding fulfilment of various demands.

Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agents Association President G R Shanmugappa told reporters here today that the demands included immediate withdrawal of hike in the price of diesel, elimination of 'mechanical tax' of Rs 1,600 per vehicle coming from outside the State, withdrawal of service tax on transport sector, abolition of toll tax and withdrawal of the rule of installation of speed governors in commercial vehicles in Karnataka.

He said that from 1997 to 2000, the Centre had collected about Rs 63,500 crore as cess under the golden quadrilateral scheme for laying national highways. Since 2002, the cess had been doubled to Rs two on each litre of diesel. This should be withdrawn as it went against the agreement reached between the Centre and Lorry Owners Associations in 2004, the operators demanded.

The Federation urged the State Government to decrease the local taxes on diesel and demanded that the Centre bring in uniform rate for diesel throughout the country.

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