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Truckers warn of indefinite strike from midnight
July, 02nd 2008

Truckers across the country will go on an indefinite strike from midnight tonight to push their demand for abolishment of toll tax and rationalisation of duty of diesel, the transporters' apex body said on Tuesday.

"We will go on an indefinite strike from midnight tonight. All the transporters will down their shutters and there will be no movement of goods on the roads till our demands are met by the government," All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) President Charan Singh Lohara told reporters.

AIMTC, which is holding an agitation in the Capital on Tuesday, claims the support of all state transporters' association with a combined fleet size of 48,00,000 trucks.

"We want the advalorem duty on diesel to be replaced with fixed rate of duty on per litre of the fuel," Lohara said.

He alleged that the government is encashing the international crisis on crude oil prices many-fold and forcing the truckers to buy premium diesel at higher and unregulated prices.

He also said that the government is also using the toll taxes on highways as a tool to earn extra revenue by continuing to charge the tax even after the recovery of investment in construction of highways. The government also increased the tax by 50 per cent of in February 2008 instead of removing the tax.

Asked about the service tax relief given by the government to the transporters recently, Lohara said, "The exemption is an eyewash. We are still being sent service tax notice by including us in other categories".

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