Over 2.75 lakh goods vehicles to go off road

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Bangalore, Jul 1: More than 2.75 lakh goods vehicles, including trucks and tempos, will be off the road in Karnataka from midnight today demanding among other things withdrawal of hike in Sales Tax, Toll Tax and state High Court order to implement the Speed Governors rule.

Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agents Association President G R Shanmugappa, who is in New Delhi gearing up for the agitation, told UNI over phone ''48 lakh vehicles would stop plying from 0000 hrs throughout the country as per All India Motor Transport Congress' call for indefinite strike.'' ''Even if countrywide strike was withdrawn the agitation would continue in Karnataka since the High Court has ordered implementation of Speed Governors Rule with effect from today.'' ''The agitation would lead to loss of about Rs 5,000 crore per day to the Centre, while the loss incurred by the Karnataka State Exchequer would be about Rs 150 crore per day,'' he added.

However, movement of essential commodities including Milk and LPG will not be affected by the agitation.

Agreeing that increase in diesel prices was inevitable because of the hike in crude oil prices in the international market, Mr Shanmugappa said the ''levy of additional cess on diesel against agreement between the Centre and the Lorry Owners Associations in 2004 was unethical.'' Mr Shanmugappa said, in Karnataka, where the price of diesel was the highest in the country due to high state taxes, the sale of the fuel had come down from 3.60 lakh litre a day to 1.56 lakh litre now.

However, Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners Association President B Channa Reddy clarified his association members are not joining the agitation since issues raised were different and were not affecting lorry owners in the state.

UNI

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