ANDHRA PRADESH

Truckers stir begins; marginal rise in prices

VISAKHAPATNAM, AUG. 21. Day one of truckers stir passed off peacefully in the district on Saturday, with marginal increase in the prices of essential commodities.

About 3,500 lorries, including 2,500 from the city, stopped moving from 6 a.m. in response to the strike called by the All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) demanding withdrawal of service tax on cargo booked through transport companies.

The convener of the steering committee set up by the Visakhapatnam Motor Transport Congress (VMTC), D. Satyanarayana, said the response was total. The committee was formed with representatives of nine lorry owners' and cargo movers' associations in the city to enforce `chaka jam' by the transporters.

Taking advantage of the strike, vegetable wholesalers have created an artificial scarcity leading to increase in the prices of onions, tomato, potato and other items by Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 per kg.