India truckers' strike ends on eighth day
Indian truckers have ended their eight day strike on Monday after long impasse. The strike ended after the trucker's union met government represntative and got an assurance that their demands will be addressed.
The strike crippled the movement of food items and also saw a rise in vegetable prices and shortage of essential commodities.
The strike possible got over only after the Centre and transport ministers of 13 states met the All India motor transport congress and assured that arrested members of the truckers' union will be freed, except for those involved in criminal cases. It was also assured that a committee will be formed to look into the national permit and rationalistaion of taxes demand. It will have members from the Centre, states and the truckers' union and a standing committee will be formed to resolve all future disputes.
Indian truckers on Monday called off an eight-day strike that had nudged up prices of commodities and disrupted supplies of industrial goods, after talks with the government on measures including cuts in tolls and taxes.
"The All India Motor Transport Congress withdraws the strike unconditionally. Transport services shall be restored forthwith," the industry body, representing about six million trucks, said in a joint statement with the transport ministry.
The transport ministry clarified there would be no increase in toll taxes on national highways for a period of one year, as agreed last July, and that a committee would look into issues relating to national permits and rationalisation of taxes.
"On reduction in diesel prices ... an appropriate decision will be taken after considering all aspects," the statement said.
The junior oil minister on Monday said India planned to cut fuel prices in 10 days. Fuel prices were last cut on Dec. 6.
Some key truckers' union officers were arrested at the weekend, and deliveries of fruits, vegetables, essential goods and commodities had resumed on Monday in several states including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
More than 70 percent of freight in India moves by road, and truckers had benefited from a booming economy which encouraged demand for transport of cement, steel and finished goods.