Re-buffed over the three days complete strike by the commercial vehicles unions in this hill state, transport minister G.S. Bali today brushed aside any proposed hike in the taxes, alleging that some vested interests were sponsoring this strike to be dealt sternly.
Mr. Bali convened a press conference in short notice today in wake of private transporters three-days strike which began on January 19 against the proposed move of the state government to hike taxes on commercial vehicles.
“I am the transport minister and assure all those who were misguided by the vested interests including some opposition parties and special persons that no plan to raise taxes on commercial vehicles is in the card of state government. Then where does the question of strike arises?,” Minister said adding that he had not been approached by stirring transporters to clear their apprehension.
Though I have not given a call of negotiation to stirring transporters but they should come to me directly rather approaching HPCC president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi and transport secretary, as he came to know from the media report.
How could I have a dream that they have any reservation with the transport department. If government would have any move to hike the taxes or freight charges, it would consult first the concerned ministers.
Joint action committee comprising taxi, cab and truck operators union spokesperson Jeet Ram claimed yesterday that the government was planning to increase road and commercial taxes by several times, which would affect their business.
If taxi operators or transporters would adopt such anti- people and anti- tourists approach by stopping their services, then the government would not deter to take a strong action.
There are complaints that they were charging exorbitant fare from the people and tourists and not using uniform while on the duty. State government would first ensure to bring their services within the ambit of rules prescribed if they did not resist from taking such anti-people action of strike.
When asked by the correspondent to reveal the name of people who were promoting the employees to go on strike, the minister evaded the query alleging that media should do efforts to expose such people.
There are reports of complete strike for the third day today by the transporters. The supply of milk, curd and bread was severely affected in the state capital as the commercial vehicles transporting diary products from neighbouring Punjab have also joined the strike