Truckers go on indefinite strike from Sunday midnight

January 4th, 2009 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) Truckers across the country will go on an indefinite strike from Sunday midnight as talks between transporters and government officials failed to yield any results. “Our talks with the government have failed. The government has only given a verbal assurance and no concrete decision has emerged so far,” S. Venugopal, secretary general of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), told IANS.

Earlier in the day, the AIMTC representatives held talks with Brahma Dutt, Secretary of Department of Road, Transport and Highways.

Transporters have been demanding further cut in diesel prices by Rs.10 and reduction in tyre prices and free toll tax for the next six months to beat the economic slowdown.

Venugopal claimed that over six million trucks will be off the road from Monday due to the strike. “We have tried our best to sort out the issue with the government. But the government does not seem to be interested in our demands,” he said.

He added that transporters were dissatisfied with the diesel price cut of Rs.2, announced last month. The government had earlier assured the AIMTC that it would look into the oil price issue.

“But that didn’t happen. There is a lot of scope for the government to reduce prices of diesel as the global crude oil prices have fallen to the 2004 levels. The cut in diesel prices does not match with the huge decline in global crude oil prices,” said Venugopal.

He added that international rubber prices have fallen by up to 60 percent. “The excise duty has also been reduced. But the tyre prices remain the same. No one knows why the government is not willing to look into this issue.”

The AIMTC had held agitation here Dec 10 during the parliament session to press for its demands.

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