Indian truckers call off eight-day strike

January 12th, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) In a development that should bring relief to households and the corporate sector alike, Indian transporters called off their eight-day nationwide strike Monday after they agreed to the government’s proposal for a mechanism to adddress their grievances.The government Monday agreed to form a committee headed by Transport Secretary Brahm Dutt to look into issues such as a single national permit for truckers to ensure their free movement across states and rationalisation of service tax.

Some six million trucks were off the roads since Monday, with the truckers also pressing for a cut in diesel prices, which has been virtually assured by the petroleum ministry within the next 10 days.

Surface Transport Minister T.R. Baalu assured transporters that the government will also direct agencies to revoke cases against their leaders arrested under the National Security Act and the Essential Essential Services Maintenance Act.

At least five leaders of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), which spearheaded the agittation, were arrested under the provisions of these legislations Saturday and sent to judicial custody.

“It has been decided that a dispute redressal mechanism would be constituted, which will be headed by transport secretary and other senior officials from state governments, including four members from the unions,” Baalu told reporters here.

“A standing committee would be constituted, which will look into the grievances of transporters. The committee has been asked to submit its report in eight weeks,” he added.

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