New Delhi, Jun 16 (PTI) Truck operators' body AIMTC on Wednesday said it will protest across the country on June 28 against the surge in diesel prices and the government's 'apathy' to the plight of the transport fraternity.
In a statement, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) President Kultaran Singh Atwal said it has been decided to prepare for an indefinite nationwide Chakka Jam if similar conditions persist and the same will be announced in near future.
'The house decided that there will be nationwide protests on June 28, 2021, across the country, and a memorandum will be submitted to Prime Minister (Narendra Modi)...in this regard,' the statement said.
An urgent meeting of transport association leaders was convened on the burning issue of continual surge in diesel prices and the government's apathy to the plight of the transport fraternity which is struggling for survival and sustenance, the statement added.
It also said transport association leaders and members expressed their acute resentment at the current state of affairs.
'It was a unanimous demand of the fraternity from AIMTC leadership to declare indefinite Chakka Jam to register their protest against unmindful diesel price hike and other pending issues like EMI moratorium, e-way bill issue, and tax waiver, etc,' the statement said.
International oil prices have crossed USD 72 per barrel in anticipation of demand recovery following the roll-out of vaccination programme by various countries.
Last year, when rates collapsed to a two-decade low, the Union government instead of passing on the benefit to consumers raised excise duty to record high. The excise tax on petrol was Rs 9.48 per litre in 2014, and that on diesel was Rs 3.56 a litre.
Excise duty on petrol now is Rs 32.90 per litre and makes up for 34 per cent of retail selling price. The duty of Rs 31.80 a litre makes up for 36.5 per cent of retail diesel rates.
Petrol prices in some parts of the country, including metro cities Mumbai and Hyderabad, have crossed Rs 100 per litre mark due to multiple fuel price hikes in past six weeks.
Petrol retails at over Rs 100 per litre mark in seven states and union territories -- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Ladakh. PTI BKS HRS hrs