Saturday 26 September 2020

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Won't work under threats by outsiders

 

While transporters have stopped sending their trucks to Goa in protest of ‘entry tax’ imposed by Goa government, chief minister Manohar Parrikar today said he would not work under threats.

“People from outside Goa cannot dictate terms to us. They are free not to come to Goa”, said Parrikar firmly once again.

While many trucks carrying grains and cereals from Kolhapur did not come to Goa, traffic of goods vehicles was stopped for almost three hours at Majali in Karnataka, allowing them not to enter from the southern point of the state.

He dismissed the possibility of transporters’ strike affecting supply of essential goods to Goa, reiterating that Goa would get essential commodities from Pune, Bangalore or Indore if Kolhapur stops selling their goods to Goa.

“There is enough stock of essentials like grains and cereals for 20 days and vegetables and milk continues to come”, he claimed.

In reality, however, the supply was partially affected today though it did not show much impact on the first day.

AIMTC president Bal Malkit Singh said the trucks were lined up on all the borders leading to Goa.

"Not a single truck belonging to the members has entered the border," he claimed.

"Our demand is that the fee should be withdrawn so that the common man is not taxed," Singh added.

While the transporters fear that other states may replicate the entry fee pattern, Parrikar once again clarified that it is not an entry tax but a toll fee collected at border post for providing infrastructure of state highway, district roads and the bridges.

“It is notified as a toll fee and not entry tax”, he informed.

According to him, not more than 50 vehicles bring essential goods to Goa (barring vehicles plying for Horticulture Corporation) and it is not even two per cent of Goa’s total toll fee collection.

Though many trucks actually did not enter Goa today, Parrikar claimed that the daily collection of toll fee did not reduce.

Total 850 vehicles entered Goa till afternoon, including 500 four-wheelers, 200 six-wheelers and 150 heavy vehicles above six tyres, he informed, with a collection of Rs 8.80 lakh.

He also dismissed the possibility of having talks with the All India Motor Transport Congress, stating that they have been fully briefed about everything when he met their Bangalore representative last month.

Parrikar however is having a meeting with inter-state bus operators, who also participated in the strike that began today.

“Their issue is different than the toll fee and we will resolve it once we meet tomorrow”, said the chief minister. 


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