Indore: Amidst calls of an indefinite strike by the truckers to protest against the hike in value-added tax on petrol and diesel by the state government, South India Motor Transport Association (SIMTA) too extend its support to the transporters of Madhya Pradesh and decided not to send their trucks to the state during the strike.
“During the strike of transporters in the state, SIMTA too has extended its support and no trucks would come to the state from southern states, mainly from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The strike is the only option left as with the hike in fuel prices, we cannot compete with the transporters in other states,” Association of Parcel Transport and Fleet Owners media coordinator Praveen, Agrawal, said.
He added that the All India Motor Transport Congress, the biggest body of transporters in the country, too supported the strike.
“The fuel hike is a double whammy for us as the business is already going through a slowdown. Price of diesel is the highest in Madhya Pradesh and we cannot stand in the competition. Truck operators in border districts of the state can get fuel from neighbouring states but what others will do?” he asked.
Along with a decrease in fuel prices, the association also demanded that the state government take back the amendment in state motor vehicle act which calls for depositing lifetime tax for all old trucks also.
“These trucks will go off the roads after 2-3 years, so why should we deposit lifetime tax these vehicles. We demanded the government to take the decision back or to increase the deadline as it is not possible for us to deposit the tax till October 10,” he added.
Many other associations too supported the strike and demanded the government to decrease the VAT on fuel.
Bus association demanded fare hike, supported the strike: Indore Prime Route Bus Owners Association too supported the strike of truckers and also demanded from the government to hike bus fare.
“We have demanded a hike of Rs 1.40 per kilometre from the government due to the hike in diesel prices. We support the demand of the truckers as it is affecting all the businesses,” he added.
However, the association has not taken any decision to go off roads yet.