Baalu appeals to transporters to call off strikeJuly 2nd, 2008 - 4:12 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, July 2 (ANI): Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu today appealed to the transporters to call off their proposed nation-wide strike.
Speaking during a meeting with the representatives of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) and the All India Transport Workers’ Association (AITWA) here, Baalu expressed the hope that the Transporters would appreciate the efforts of his Ministry to sort out their problems and would call off their strike in the interest of the nation and the common man.
In response to the AIMTC’s demand for rolling back the increase in toll tax with effect from February 1, 2008, he explained that the user fee is levied in perpetuity in accordance with the provisions of the National Highways Act, 1956 and said that in the case of private funded projects, there is an annual hike linked to the inflation whereas in public funded projects the hike is once in five years. Hence, the increase appears to be higher, he pointed out.
The Minister, however, assured that the AIMTC could indicate the kind of wayside amenities, etc., that they require and a separate meeting could be called to work out the plan of action in this regard.
He also informed that the Department of Revenue has already been requested by the Department of Road Transport and Highways to look into the issue relating to the levy of service tax on goods transport agencies and assured them that a clarification is expected shortly from the Department of Revenue.
As regards the ad valorem duty on diesel and the non-availability of normal diesel, the Minister informed them that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been asked to take care of the issue of forced selling of premium diesel in place of the normal diesel and the Ministry of Petroleum has assured that they would be issuing an advisory to the Oil PSUs to make available normal diesel as per the requirement of the users.
The Minister stated that the Government is fully alive to all the problems of the transporters and the meetings have been held at the highest levels with concerned Ministries to sort out the issues.
On the problems being faced by the transporters due to multiple toll barriers within a district, Baalu directed the concerned officers to explore the possibility of designing future packages for road concessions in such a way that the entire district could be covered in one package.
As regards illegal toll collection, he assured that strict action would be taken against any defaulters with the help of the concerned State Governments. (ANI)
Tags: amenities, clarification, common man, department of revenue, diesel, goods transport, highways act, india motor transport, inflation, levy, national highways, natural gas, New Delhi, perpetuity, petroleum, road transport, transport agencies, transport workers, union minister, wayside