AIMTC threatens indefinite strike from Dec 20

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New Delhi, Nov 18 (UNI) The All India Motor Transport Congress has threatened to go on an indefinite strike from December 20 if the Government did not announce an economic bailout package for truckes by then.

In a resolution adopted at an emergency Managing Committee meeting yesterday, the AIMTC said the whole transport industry had been hit by high input cost and deep recession resulting in huge economic viability gap.

''Despite numerous representations the Government has not taken any steps to bring this industry out of this recession. Also in total defiance of its commitments and agreement, the Government is backtracking on the issues of service tax, diesel prices and others,'' AIMTC president Charan Singh Lohara said in a statement.

Instead of providing any relief, the AIMTC alleged that the government machinery in the field was rubbing salt on their wounds by raising false and baseless tax demands and creating unnecessary procedural harassments. A huge undisclosed amount was being extorted in form of bribes from the illiterate and fragmented transporters.

The transport congress demanded that the viability bailout package must include reduced prices of diesel by at least Rs 10 per litre and that of tyres by at least 35 per cent.

The Government could reduce the tyre prices by breaking cartel of tyre manufacturers, abolishing all duties and taxes on tyres and allowing tax free import of tyres.

It also called for moratorium on all instalments and waiver of interest on truck finance for at least six months and no toll tax for six months.

It also demanded free movement of all vehicles, all over the country without any national level levy on state and a minimum freight rate be fixed keeping in view the input cost.

It demanded abolition of Service Tax on any services provided by goods transport agency or its sub-contractors or intermediaries like truck owners, booking, delivery, crossing agents and others in totality as the modalities and agreements had been repeatedly violated by the government.

The AIMTC said if the requests were not accepted by the government till December 19, the transport industry would not be in the position to bare the increased operational cost and would be compelled to go on an indefinite strike.

UNI MMG GT CS1837

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