Staff Reporter

Bangalore: The Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners' Association has resorted to a strike by withdrawing all construction equipment like cranes, mobile cranes and forklifts from work on Tuesday as the State Government failed to reduce 10 per cent life tax imposed from April 1.

There are about 18,000 such vehicles in the State. Hundreds of such vehicles have been rented out to works related to Bangalore Metro, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and other agencies, and their withdrawal is likely to affect these works.

Talking to presspersons in Bangalore on Tuesday, federation president B. Channa Reddy said the Government had proposed to levy a life tax of 10 per cent of the cost of the vehicle as against the earlier tax of Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,200 per quarter.

Hefty sum

As a result, owners of the vehicles are now required to pay about Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh per vehicle as life tax.

He said Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, following a request from the federation, had agreed to reduce the tax burden, but so far nothing had changed in this regard. Moreover, the Transport Department had already seized 83 such vehicles since the owners had not paid life tax as they were expecting the Chief Minister to reduce the tax.

Department officials, Mr. Reddy said, were now forcing the owners to pay a penalty of Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 a vehicle.