Transporters to boycott Goa operations from May 12



Panaji: All India Motor Transport Congress has warned of stopping goods trucks and passenger buses in the state from May 12 midnight in protest against the imposition of entry tax on the vehicles by Goa government.

All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) managing committee, which met in Goa on Wednesday, decided to strike as Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar refused to roll back the controversial tax imposed in the state since April 15.

AIMTC president Bal Malkit Singh told reporters that the tax had been imposed illegally by Goa government, who is firm on its stand of not withdrawing it.

"We have decided to strike the work from May 12 midnight onwards. All the goods trucks and passenger buses even carrying tourists would not ply to Goa. The decision is unanimous," he said.

The issue was prominently raised during AIMTC conference which is currently underway in Goa wherein 450 transporters are participating.

Singh said that the bus owners' lobby plying inter-state is also part of the Congress, which has vehemently supported the strike.

Goa government has imposed an entry tax of Rs 1,000 on heavy vehicles entering the state, while vehicles from the neighbouring Sindhudurg, Karwar, Belgaum and Kolhapur have been exempted for the time being.

Singh alleged that the Goa government, by giving exemption to vehicles from selected districts, is trying to divide and rule.

"The AIMTC members have decided not to fall for this divide and rule and unitedly strike from May 12," he said.

Transporters tried to have an audience with the Chief Minister on the issue but he was out of station, he said. "Even Goa transport minister was out of station and hence we could not meet but we have submitted our memorandum to them," Singh added.

Imposition of entry tax by Goa government had resulted in protests by the transporters and traders last month which was subsequently withdrawn following intervention of Parrikar.

PTI