Lorry owners stir likely to cause Rs 1,500 cr revenue loss

Chennai: The indefinite strike by lorry owners, which began today, is likely to hit business to the tune of nearly Rs 1,500 crore in the state, office-bearers of Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation said.

The Federation representatives said the stir would continue as discussions with the government pressing for various demands had failed.

“As of now the strike is on. We expect the loss of revenue to be around Rs 1,500 crore as lorries stayed off roads,” Federation president Kumaraswamy said here.

He was talking to reporters at the Secretariat after holding discussions with State Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar.

“The strike is on in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry,” he said.

“We have several demands and the major one is withdrawal of VAT announced recently by the Tamil Nadu government,” he said.

In Erode and Namakkal districts, home for several lorry owners, transporting goods and other essential services to neighbouring states, nearly 5,000 lorries did not operate due to the strike.

Referring to the strike, Koyambedu Vegetable Market Vendors Association vice-president, Chandran said supply of vegetables was likely to be affected by nearly 50 per cent.

“Small trucks which bring vegetables from nearby locations may operate. But we fear that lorries coming from other states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will stop. We expect that nearly 50 per cent of supply may get affected due to the strike,” he told PTI.

The drop in supply could see price of vegetables go up, owing to the increase in demand, he said.