Special Correspondent

Government to recall notices asking operators to pay sales tax with retrospective effect

HYDERABAD: The two day-old strike by the Greater Hyderabad Cabs and Bus Operators Association (GHCBOA) was called off late on Friday evening with the government agreeing to recall its earlier notices asking operators to pay up sales tax with retrospective effect from the year 2003 and value added tax from April, 2005.

After prolonged discussions, Commercial Taxes Minister K. Ramakrishna said a committee comprising stakeholders including the association and officials of the connected government departments was formed to examine the issue in greater detail. Consequently, GHCBOA president N.K. Sultania announced the strike was called off with immediate effect.

An estimated 30,000 cabs were off the roads since Wednesday midnight causing hardship to the people.

‘Unjustifiable’

Earlier, at a press conference, the Minister had termed the strike ‘unjustifiable’ as the government had already formed the committee. If there were any problems, the operators could talk to the government as the ‘doors were always open for discussion’, he said. Demand notices served by the department would be kept in abeyance and officials were ordered not to use any force on the operators, he added.

Ashwin Jain, a GHCBOA executive member, welcomed the government decision and said vehicles with ‘yellow’ registration plates would be back on the roads immediately.

Autos too

Autorickshaw drivers also suspended their indefinite strike which was being observed from Thursday midnight. The drivers went on strike demanding an increase in the minimum fare following the hike in fuel prices.

A decision to this effect was taken after assurance from Transport Department officials stating that a meeting would be held on Monday to resolve the issue, according to Auto Drivers Struggle Committee general secretary B. Venkatesam.