Truckers begin strike, movement of goods affected

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (UNI) Truckers across the country today began an indefinite strike against ''rising fuel prices and the Government's refusal to abolish toll and service tax on cargo handling and storage''.

The strike has been called by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), which claimed that over four million trucks will be off the roads.

Queues of trucks were seen lined up on the Delhi-Gurgaon highway, as movement of goods remained paralysed.

Talks were held with Union Minister for Transport and Highways T R Baalu this morning, but have failed, Mr Ramesh Agarwal of All India Transport Welfare Association told UNI.

He said the truckers have been most affected by the plethora of taxes and increase in input costs due to the rise in retail fuel prices.

''We are being forced to buy premium diesel at higher and unregulated prices,'' he said.

Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the strike, if extended indefinitely, may cause shortages and hamper the transportation of food articles and manufactured products.

The truckers are also demanding that the advalorem duty on diesel be replaced with a fixed rate of duty on per litre of the fuel.

UNI MMG SB KN1430

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