Panaji, May 13 (IANS) Reaching out to transporters who have enforced a virtual indefinite embargo on Goa over a controversial “entry fee” from the wee hours of Monday, the government promised to issue concessional passes for regular goods carriers.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the state government would not give-in to blackmail, but offered concessional passes for transporters by the week-end.
“There is no question of backing down, no matter who tries to blackmail us…the concessional passes for vehicles will be ready by the end of this week,” the chief minister said.
Parrikar said the embargo announced by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) to bypass Goa and deprive it of essential commodities in protest against the fee had not met with much success.
“We have no problem with the vehicles arriving from Belgaum (a major Karnataka trading district northeast of Goa) with goods, but materials coming in from Kolhapur (in Maharashtra) have been marginally affected,” Parrikar said.
Goa relies on Maharashtra for essential goods like milk, eggs, meat, vegetables and grains.
Last month, a cash-strapped Goa state government had imposed road tax ranging from Rs.500-Rs.1,000 for light and heavy commercial vehicles entering the state.
The Goa government expects to net Rs.60 crore annually from the new toll booths which have been built on all entry points into the state by the transport department.
The AIMTC which accounts for thousands of trucks and other goods carriers protested against the tax, adding that it was against law and was causing harassment to transporters.