More than two lakhs trucks go off the roads

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Bhopal, July 2 (UNI) More than two lakh trucks in Madhya Pradesh went off the roads following a nationwide indefinite strike of truckers, called by the All India Motor Transport Congress to press for their long-standing demands.

Bhopal Transporters Association (BTA) President Ashok Malpani told UNI here that the BTA was supporting the nationwide strike to exert pressure on the Centre to remove transport sector from the ambit of service tax, stopping collection of illegal cess in the name of toll tax and hike in levy on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) roads.

Mr Malpani said the chief demand of transporters in the state was reduction of sales tax on diesel. Recent reduction on diesel effected by the government was negligible.

He said the Centre earned sales tax of Rs 13.5 per litre, while the government gets Rs 7.5 per litre on diesel.

''A cess of Rs 1.50 per litre is also being levied on diesel for road repair,'' Mr Malpani said and added that transport registration was not also done in the state since 1994.

Mr Malpani said trucks coming into Bhopal would be allowed till this evening but it would not be allowed to go outside till the strike was over.

UNI BDG 1435

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