Truckers call off strike

Published on June 26, 2015 00:54:00 AM
Cities

Truck owners in Telangana called off their strike on Thursday after Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy assured to waive the counter signature tax in consultation with Andhra Pradesh government. He said he would also form a committee to look into possibilities of decreasing road tax as per 10 districts.

Mahender Reddy also informed that the government would provide parking tracks on highways, driving classes in 38 revenue divisions in the State so as to discourage private training schools

We will write to Andhra Pradesh government to follow the same practice as being done with Karnataka and Maharashtra governments

The lorry owners held two rounds of talks -- one with Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy, MLA V Srinivas Goud, honourary president of Telangana Lorry Owners’ Association (TLOA) at the minister’s residence and the second with Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao at Secretariat.

Talking to reporters, the minister said that though there were 11 demands of the association, there was difference of opinion on two demands. He said that the government had agreed to look into the demand of counter signature tax. “We will be writing to Andhra Pradesh government to follow the same practice as it is following with Karnataka and Maharashtra governments. If they agree to this, the Telangana government will have no hesitation to remove counter signature tax,” said Mahender Reddy.

The minister assured to form a committee to look into the decreasing of taxes as Telangana has 10 districts. The truck owners have been arguing that the government was collecting taxes as per 23 districts of undivided Andhra Pradesh and it was turning into huge burden on them, he said.

Mahender Reddy said that an official committee would be constituted with officials from Transport, Finance, Law, Mining, Labour and Commercial Tax Department for studying 10 demands out of total 11 demands. “The committee will be submitting its report within three weeks to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for the final decision,” Mahender Reddy. He said that the decision would be based on the welfare of common people and lorry owners as well.

The minister also assured to convene a high-level meeting of higher officials, including the Director General of Police, commercial tax officers, transport commissioner, labour secretary, mining corporation MD and lorry owners’ association to avoid alleged harassment by department officials.

Mahender Reddy also informed that the government would provide parking tracks on highways, driving classes in 38 revenue divisions in the State so as to discourage private training schools. It was also decided to send a team consisting of officials and representatives of Lorry Owners’ Associations to Gujarat to study the best practices of that State. Transport principal secretary Sunil Sharma, transport commissioner Sandeep Kumar Sultania, TLOA president N Bhaskar Reddy, general secretary Durga Prasad were present during the talks.