Baalu to convene meeting on Monday to discuss truckers strike

January 11th, 2009 - 1:03 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Jan 11 (ANI): Union Surface Transport and Shipping Mminister T R Baalu will convene a meeting on Monday with the Ministers of Transport of States to solve the situation arising out of the truckers strike.

On Saturday, Baalu had a meeting with the representatives of the All India Federation of Goods Vehicle Owner Association and expressed government’’s readiness to negotiate with truck operators who have been on a strike since Monday.

“The truck operators have assured full cooperation to the government of India. Whatever the issues that have been with the government of India for sometime have been sorted out during 2008 itself. Any further discussion they want to have with government of India, we are ready to have a dialogue at any point of time,” said Baalu.

Talking to the media, Baalu announced that the strike has had negligible effect so far and all the essential commodities are being transported. He added that the State Governments have been advised to see that the necessary commodities are transported to meet the needs of people without any disruption.

He further added that vehicles without permit could also be operated if need be.

Calling the demands ”irrelevant”, Baalu said that he had already discussed the matter with All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) in July 2008 and all the demands have been considered then.

“In July 2008, I have personally discussed the matter with all the AIMTC people. We considered all their demands. It is in the agreement also. I do not know why all of a sudden without any provocation they have gone for this strike,” he added.

In view of the truckers” strike, five state governments have invoked the Essential Services maintenance Act (ESMA) - Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The AIMTC, which represents around six million trucks across the country, called for an indefinite strike since Monday.

Truckers have been off the roads after talks between AIMTC and the Central Government officials broke down last weekend, threatening to push up prices of food and other essential commodities across the country. (ANI)

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