TAMIL NADU

`Drop move to revise diesel price'

NAMAKKAL, AUG. 14. The Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners' Federation has urged the Centre to roll back the diesel price hike and also reduce duty on crude oil imports in a bid to hold the price line of diesel.

The general body of the Federation that met here on Friday passed a resolution condemning the constant hike in the price stating that the measure would do more harm to the lorry transport trade, which it claimed was "already in the doldrums.''

The resolution wanted the Centre to drop the move to revise the diesel price slated for August 15. It said that the reduction of duty on imported crude would help hold the price line of diesel. The Federation president, P. Sengodan, presided.

Through another resolution, the Federation urged the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) to defer its strike call for August 21, as the demand with regard to service tax would not greatly affect lorry owners.

Also, speakers at the meeting noted that the AIMTC would do well to speak to the respective State federations to understand the region-specific problems and carry every federation with it in the strike demand.

Harassment alleged

The Federation reiterated it plea to the State Government to help end "harassment'' of lorry staff by the Highway Patrols. While they have been established for effecting measures to prevent and reduce accidents, check rash driving, etc., the threat of penal action by errant police personnel was turning out to be a great strain on the industry. It also asked it district units to keep a tab on the "excesses'' of the highway patrols and bring them to the notice of the Federation for further action.

The Federation also urged the State Government to expeditiously consider its charter of demands, including permits, filling up vacancies in Regional Transport Offices, that were pending before the Government for some time now. Depending on the Government's response, the Federation would be taking follow up measures.

Earlier, the general body observed a two-minute silence in memory of those killed in the Kumabakonam school fire as a mark of respect and also passed a condolence resolution.

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