All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has announced a one-day strike from Wednesday midnight to protest the recent steep hike in diesel price. It said 22 lakh trucks would remain off roads on Thursday in Maharashtra alone.
“The road transport industry will not be able to absorb the hike in diesel price and suggests the central and state governments reduce excise and custom duties and value-added tax, which constitute around 50 per cent of diesel cost,” said president Bal Malkit Singh.
He said AIMTC, which raised freight by 15per cent immediately after the hike, would meet again after a month to decide an indefinite strike if there is no rollback.
AIMTC said supply of essential goods such as vegetables, fruits and medicines would, however, be exempted from the strike. “Only industrial goods will be hit. We did not want to strike as we will lose three working days as a result, but we have no choice,” said Sunil Kale, president of Bombay Goods Transport Association.
AIMTC said truckers would lose Rs 2,500 crore on strike day. It said the Goa government had decided to cut taxes in the interest of the common man and other states should follow the lead.
AIMTC also demanded uniform diesel prices across the country.
The strike coincides with a Bharat Bandh called by NDA. School Bus Owners Association, however, will not join it.
“We have urged the home department to post a cop on every bus,” said Anil Garg, president of the association.