Goods, passenger vehicles skip Goa

Panaji, May 13 (IANS) Inter-state goods and passenger vehicles have stopped rolling into Goa from Monday to protest a Goa government decision to impose a hefty fee for entering the state.

Many trucks, goods carriers and passenger buses associated with the All Indian Motor Transport Congress have been skipping Goa since midnight, choosing alternative routes, which do not necessitate the use of Goa’s roads.

State government authorities have, however, claimed that the boycott is “not complete” and have also offered an olive branch to the transporters by promising to cancel the fee and impose only an “extra charge per additional tonnage”.

“The Goa government will not succumb to threats. But we are willing to scrap the entry charge and impose an extra fee for every additional (more than the sanctioned tonnage) tonnage of goods in vehicles passing through Goa,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters here.

However, an AIMTC spokesperson said: “The very concept is not agreeable to us. Any fee charged by states is illegal considering that all vehicles pay road tax when they are purchased. We will not oblige.”

Last month, a cash-strapped state government had imposed road tax to the tune of Rs.500 to Rs.1,000 for light and heavy commercial vehicles entering Goa.

The Goa government expects to net Rs.60 crore annually from the new toll booths which have been installed on all entry points into the state by the transport department.

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