About 45,000 trucks will go off the roads in Karnataka from Tuesday. Movement of all goods barring essential commodities will be affected. Transport agencies and truckers will begin the indefinite strike in protest against the hike in sales tax on diesel, toll tax and a high court order to implement the speed governors rule.
The truckers are demanding that sales tax on diesel be removed altogether and VAT be imposed. "VAT is a common levy across the country. We can fill diesel at the same rate wherever we go. But now we do so at a higher rate in Karnataka, while in Tamil Nadu, we do it at Rs 2 less. That explains why bunks in Karnataka are empty most of the time," the truckers representative B V Narayanappa said on Monday.
Another demand of the truckers is reduction in toll tax. Earlier, they paid Rs 1.35 per km as toll tax; now they have to pay Rs 2.40. Years ago, there were 25,000 vehicles operating; but now there are 45,000 vehicles. "Should the toll tax not go down as there are more vehicles plying? But the opposite has happened. We want the state government to revert to the old rates," Narayanappa said
Mondays high court order on making it mandatory to install speed governors has also not gone well with the truckers, who fear it will affect movement of their vehicles.