The nation wide truckers strike from Sunday has been called off after the government on Saturday accepted their demand and slashed the toll tax by nearly 30 per cent for commercial vehicles.

The tax has been cut drastically from 3.40 per KM to Rs 2.40 per kilometre.

“Their demands were pending for years… discussions were done in the past 3-4 days, which concluded today”, Road Minister Kamal Nath told reporters after negotiations with All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC).

“Toll tax for the 3-excel trucks is 10 per cent more than the 2-excel... Now it would Rs 2.40 per kilometre,” Mr. Nath said.

AIMTC had decided to go on an indefinite strike from December 5, 2010 to protest higher toll taxes.

“They (AIMTC) have decided to call off the strike,” Mr. Nath said.

“We had been demanding it for four years... now it has been accepted,” AIMTC President G R Shanmugappa said.

On demands to reduce the toll barriers wherein the districts had to pay full (toll), the Minister said: “Now it would be 50 per cent within the districts for the vehicles registered in the districts.”

AIMTC had demanded that full toll should not be levied after the concession period was over.

“We have reduced it by 60 per cent after the completion of the concession period... now it would be 40 per cent,” Mr. Nath added.

However, the government has rejected AIMTC’s demand of concession in toll for the empty vehicles.

“We have not accepted their demand of concessional toll for empty vehicles as it would lead to a lot of malpractices,” Mr. Nath said.

“Uptill now the toll rules were in perpetuity...now it (toll) would be levied for maintenance of roads,” he said.

The ministry would negotiate on other issues over a period of time.

“We have decided that the demands, which have not been discussed now, would be discussed over a period of time,” the Minister said.

More In: National | News | States