BENGALURU: The president of the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners Association, B Channa Reddy, on Monday threatened that the lorry owners of the state will join a nationwide strike if their demand of slashing diesel prices was not considered by the State and Central governments.
Addressing a press conference, Reddy said the Centre increased the diesel rate ‘abnormally’ not because of the international crude prices, but by levying exorbitant taxes. He said that up to 93 lakh trucks were engaged in goods transport, of which 90 per cent are owned by single truck owners who own up to five trucks each. The running cost of each truck is `26 per kilometer towards diesel.
“All these owners buy the trucks on a hire-purchase system and have to pay monthly installments or else the vehicles are seized by the financiers. When the entire country is suffering economically, the Centre’s decision to levy of abnormal taxes on diesel and petrol only adds to the misery of lakhs of truck owners in India, curtailing their capacity to employ other people,” he said. The lorry owners’ associations across the country have come together to give a month’s ultimatum to the Centre for their demands to be met, failing which they would launch the strike.