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The transportation of goods remained suspended today in the Delhi-NCR region as truckers stayed off the roads due to a symbolic strike called by the All India Motor Transport Congress, affecting business around worth Rs 4,000 crore, transport operators bodies claimed. The truck operators across the country are on a two-day token strike against the Goods and Services Tax (GST), high diesel prices and harassment on roads. "Around 1.5 lakh goods transport vehicles including trucks leave and enter Delhi-NCR each day. The operation was fully shut hitting around business worth Rs 4,000 crore," said AIMTC chairman Kultaran Singh. If the government fails to take any steps to redress the grievances of truck operators, an indefinite strike may be called after Diwali, he said. "We will hold a meeting of goods transporters across the country in Delhi after Diwali and take a decision on the future course of action. If we go on a strike, it will be an indefinite one," Singh said. The trucks were fully off-road in the Delhi-NCR region and surrounding areas.
Routine works at offices and godowns were normal, Delhi Goods Transport Organisation president Rajender Kapoor said. The truck operators have been demanding concessions on the GST and bringing down prices of diesel, besides "oppression and corruption" of road transport officers in different states. "Over 90 per cent truck operators are small ones having less than five vehicles. They can not comply with the GST so we are demanding no-registration, no-compliance," Singh said. Also, about 70 per cent of the operation cost in goods transport business includes diesel prices which has gone up in the recent times, he said. "Despite falling international prices, diesel prices have only gone up. The government should provide us relief by bringing down the prices. A major problem faced by the truck operators is corruption and extortion by road transport officers, during inter-state operations, and it needs to be removed," he said. The two-day strike may cause problems of supply of perishables such as milk, vegetables among others, but no major disruption in supply is expected, the operators said.
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