Price rise likely as truckers strike from Oct 5

Indore: Transporters have threatened to go on strike from October 5 in the state after their talks with chief minister Kamal Nath over rolling back 5 per cent hike in VAT on petrol and diesel and other demands, failed on Tuesday.

There are 15 lakh trucks in the state and they will grind to a standstill from October 4 midnight, which is bound to increase price of essential commodities during the ongoing festive season, said transporters.

A 250-member delegation of transporters from all the 52 districts met Chief Minister Nath at Vallabh Bhavan on Tuesday afternoon, said CL Mukati, President of Indore Truck Operators and Transporter Association (ITOTA).

“We presented our three demands; withdrawal of hiked Lifetime Tax on old and new vehicles, stopping the illegal extortion at check posts and withdrawal of hike of 5% VAT on petrol and diesel. However, CM refused to accept our demands,” Mukati said.

After the failed meeting with CM Nath, the transporters of the State held a meeting at Swagat Garden, Lalghati in Bhopal and decided to go on indefinite strike from October 5, Mukati said adding that 64 unions of the transporters from 52 districts have supported the indefinite strike call.

We have already stopped taking the booking of goods. The trucks outside the state will be allowed to enter the state and off-load the goods, but will not be allowed to upload goods.

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CM Nath has forced us to strike: Mukati

Talking to Free Press Mukati said during the meeting we asked Chief Minister Nath to withdraw the 5% hike in VAT on petrol and diesel. Hearing our demand, the CM became irritated and said, “We will not take back the VAT hike. We have to pay compensation to farmers for the heavy rains and flood. You may go on strike.”

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The truckers indefinite strike is expected to fuel price rise in the midst of the festival season as supply of essential commodities would be severely affected. All industries and trade are dependent on logistics. Even we also support their demands including withdrawal of hiked VAT on petrol-diesel.

-Ramesh Khandelwal, President Ahilya Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Free Press Journal

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