K'taka Lorry owners to support nation wide Truckers strike

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Bangalore, Jun 27 (UNI) More than 45,000 heavy goods vehicles will be off the roads in Karnataka in response to All India Motor Transport Congress' call for a nation wide 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 prices of diesel, elimination of 'mechanical tax' Rs 1600 per vehicle coming from outside the state in Orissa and Tamil Nadu, withdrawal of service tax on transport sector, abolition toll tax, and withdraw the rule of installation of speed governors in commercial vehicles in Karantaka.

He said from 1997 to 2000 the centre had collected about Rs 63,500 crore as cess under golden quadrilateral scheme for construction of national highways. Now it had been doubled to two Rs on each liter of diesel since 2002. it should be withdrawn, the operators demanded.

"We agree that increase in diesel prices was inevitable because of surge in crude oil prices, but putting additional cess on diesel against the agreement reached between centre and Lorry Owners Associations in 2004 is unethical," he said.

In Karnataka, where the price of diesel was the highest in the country due to high state taxes the sale of diesel had come down from 3.60 lakh litre a day now it had come down to 1.56 lakh liters.

hence the state should decrease the local taxes on diesel, he demanded.

The Federation also demanded centre to bring uniform rate in diesel through out the country.

He said about 40,000 trucks from various states passed through Karnataka and the increase in diesel prices had lead to loss to state exchequer to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore per annum because of high ruling prices in diesel.


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