Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Union Shipping, Road Transport and National Highways Minister T.R. Baalu has convened a meeting of State Transport Ministers for Monday, in a bid to end the strike by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), which entered the sixth day on Saturday.

The meeting is to elicit their opinions on a host of issues that agitated the truckers as a solution lay in the hands of the State governments.

Mr. Baalu told reporters that he would hold discussions with the transporters before meeting the Ministers. He would ask the States to do away with separate road permits and rationalise taxes.

He said the AIMTC demands relating to his department had been resolved and most of the others concerned either the State governments or other Union Ministries. A decision on reduction in diesel prices had to be taken by the Union Cabinet.

Mr. Baalu held a meeting with members of the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicles Owners’ Association (ACOGOA), which promised to cooperate with the government in transporting commodities. He said he would recommend to the Ministry concerned that the demand for a reduction in radial prices be considered.

The ACOGOA members claimed that they had received an assurance that diesel prices would be brought down.

Mr. Baalu expressed his keenness to hold talks with the AIMTC to clarify issues. He made an appeal to the organisation to call off its strike in the interest of the common man and the country.

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