New Delhi, April 19: Industry today appealed to the striking truckers to call off their agitation and urged the government to immediately hold an inter-ministerial meeting to resolve all the sticky issues.
The surface transport ministry has called a meeting of senior officials from the law and petroleum ministries.
Surface transport ministry officials were tight-lipped about the meeting’s agenda, but sources indicated that “conciliatory as well as reactive proposals” on the issue will be discussed.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today expressed concern and apprehension over the nationwide strike called by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC).
“The strike is most unfortunate, undemocratic and uncalled for, which has come immediately after the confusion over implementation of the value-added tax,” the CII said in a press release. It pointed out that the truckers’ strike had paralysed the manufacturing sector by disrupting the distribution chain across the country.
“The manufacturing sector has been forced to stop production in the absence of raw material, industry is also not able to move out the finished goods to distributors and sup_pliers which is resulting in piling up of inventories,” the release said.
The CII has held a discussion with the truckers while the chamber’s specialised committee on surface transport has suggested to the motor transport congress that they should immediately restore service and hold a constant dialogue with the ministries concerned to solve the issue.
The motor transport congress secretary-general, J.M. Saksena, said: “The agitation has been peaceful so far as no violent incident has been reported from any part of the country. But now there is an attempt of provocation on the part of the government. It is reported that the government is planning to move trucks under police protection… We strongly oppose any such attempt. If such measures are taken, we warn that we may not be able to ensure peace in the face of such provocation.”
Saksena added that there has been no response from the government on a possible second meeting despite a written request for one at the earliest.
“The government, astonishingly, is still talking in terms of setting up committees. We want action on our demands and concrete evidence of such action and we want it now. So our agitation continues,” he said.