Page last updated at 04:41 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 05:41 UK

India truckers strike called off

Truck driver in Mumbai
A prolonged strike would have hurt India's economy

India's truck operators have called off their strike to protest against rising fuel bills.

The operators had also protested against "steep" road tolls imposed by the government.

The chief of the main operators' association said the government had agreed to freeze road tolls on highways built by the state for a year.

Nearly four million trucks went off India's roads during the strike which began late on Tuesday.

Trucks carry food and other essential commodities in India. A prolonged strike would have pushed up their prices.

The strike was called off early on Friday after a late-night meeting between the operators and government authorities.

The operators had demanded a decrease in road tolls and availability of cheaper fuel on highways.

Charan Singh Lohara of the All-India Motor Transport Congress, the main operators group, said the government had decided to form a committee to look into these issues.

A senior federal road authority official said the freeze in road toll would lead to a decline in government revenues.

Truck operators say they have been hit hard by oil prices which have risen by 40% since the beginning of the year.

In June, India raised fuel prices by 10%, the second such increase this year, because of the rising cost of oil globally.

India imports nearly 75% of its crude oil requirements and controls the price of domestic fuel products to help contain inflation and protect the poor.

Indian truckers strike over tax
23 Aug 04 |  Business

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