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Transporters plan indefinite strike from Jan 5

January 03, 2009 19:19 IST

Transporters across the country will go ahead with their planned indefinite nation-wide strike from January 5 as the second meeting between truckers and transport ministry officials in as many days failed to yield any results.

"They (ministry officials) listened to all our demands, but declined to respond. The meeting was not fruitful and we will continue with our planned nation-wide strike from mid- night tomorrow," All India Motor Transport Congress managing committee member Deepak Sachdeva told PTI.

However, the government is hopeful that the situation would not deteriorate and an amicable solution could be worked out.

"Situation will not precipitate, solution is possible. We have been talking to them on the issues, these things take time," Transport Ministry Joint Secretary Saroj K Dash said.

Transporters had earlier threatened to go on strike from December 20, 2008, demanding lowering of diesel prices by Rs 10 per litre, besides withdrawal of service tax on truckers.

They, however, deferred the strike to January 5 in view of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November.

Transporters want moratorium on all installments and waiver of interest on truck finance for at least six months.

Their other demands include provision for free movement of all trucks across the country without any national/state permits and fixation of minimum freight in view of high input costs.

Truck operators have accused the government of going back on its promise of not imposing service tax and said truckers have been slapped with recovery notices of above Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion).

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