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Some truckers associations in TN go on one-day strike

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on July 22, 2020 Published on July 22, 2020

They are protesting against the State’s move to not extend the deadline for road tax payment

A section of truckers in Tamil Nadu has resorted to a one-day strike on Wednesday to protest against the State government’s decision to not provide road tax relief for the lockdown period. They are also protesting against other issues such as frequent fuel price increase and collection of toll tax.

However, there was no major impact on the movement of cargo.

During the current pandemic, this one-day strike is the second agitation by the truckers in the country — the first one took place in Rajasthan on July 20, said a trucker.

The strike was called by various associations, including Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation (TNLOF); Tamil Nadu Trailers Association and supported by the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicles Owners’ Associations (AICGVOA).

The State government, in a May Government Order (GO), extended the payment of road tax by truckers only till June end, while the TNLOF sought time till September end.

State’s view

The TNLOF approached the Madras High Court against the GO. However, the State government told the Court on July 7 that providing road tax exemption to commercial motor vehicles during the lockdown period would cost the State nearly ₹1,724 crore and that the relief could not be considered.

Movement of goods transport was not banned by the State and Central governments. Hence, the question of granting exemption to truckers from payment of road tax from April to September does not arise, the Tamil Nadu government said.

Truckers claim losses

The truckers claimed that they had suffered huge losses during the shutdown of various industrial units in April and May, as only movement of essential commodities was allowed.

TNOF President V Murugan, seeking support from various other truck associations, said that the frequent diesel price hike and collection of toll tax had hit the industry hard.

The AICGVOA, supporting the one-day strike, urged its members to participate in strike. The association also protested against the vehicle-scrapping policy and police harassment.

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Published on July 22, 2020
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