Day Two: Truckers’ strike affects goods transportation

July 3rd, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The truckers’ strike to protest rising taxes and fuel price hike entered the second day Thursday affecting the transportation of goods across the country. The talks between the government and the truckers to end the logjam remained inconclusive Wednesday.

“The government has not called us for talks today (Thursday),” said D.K. Sharma, advisor to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), an apex body of truck owners.

The AIMTC claimed the strike on the first day Wednesday largely affected the transportation of goods.

The trucker’s strike, according to the industry lobby, resulted in a loss of Rs.20 billion. The losses, according to the AIMTC, would be higher Thursday as more number of trucks are expected to be off the roads.

However, the government said the impact of the strike on day one was up to 35 percent and the losses were different at different places.

“We are continuing the strike and we will continue till there is a favourable response from the government,” AIMTC president Charan Singh Lohara said.

The AIMTC claims to represent nearly 4.8 million truck and two million tempo operators. Wednesday the petroleum ministry assured that unbranded diesel would be made available to truckers at normal rates at petrol pumps and retail outlets.

In his meeting with the AIMTC Wednesday, Transport Minister T.R. Baalu said rolling back the hike in toll tax would not be possible as the increase was effected through an act of parliament.

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