Cabinet approves bus fare hike of 6.56%

Published : 9:14 am  May 16, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (17) reads | 

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LATE-CITY-DM-2-2By Sandun A. Jayasekera 

The Cabinet yesterday permitted the National Transport Commission (NTC) to increase bus fares by 6.56% while maintaining the minimum bus fare of Rs.10 unchanged.  

 

An NTC spokesman said the bus fares would be effective from 12.00 midnight today with the NTC issuing a list of the bus fares for short, middle and long distance travel.   


The Cabinet paper presented by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva was approved after the bus fares were reviewed and decided by a special committee of officials appointed by the minister.   


The Committee comprised Additional Secretary of the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, R.M.S.P. Ratnayaka, Director National Budget, J.M. Herath Banda, National Planning Director U.N. Mallawarachchi, State Enterprise Director, P.A.S.A.Kumara, Director Census and Statistics Department, A.N.U.K.Alahakone, SP W.D.A. Dananjaya, Commissioner of Labour, Janaka Paranagama, Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Prof. J.M.S. Bandara and Director Consumer Affairs Authority, N.D.S. Jeganathan.   


“There were various views expressed at the Cabinet meeting on the bus fare increase with the ministers finally agreeing to increase bus fares by 6.56%,” a minister said.   


He said the annual bus fare review scheduled for July, would also be absorbed into this bus fare hike.  

 

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Bus strike tomorrow

By Sandun A Jayasekera and Chaturanga Samarawickrama   

Private bus operators said yesterday they were not satisfied with the government’s bus fare revision by 6.56% and threatened to resort to a countrywide work stoppage from midnight  today unless the National Transport Commission (NTC) permitted them to increase bus fares by at least 15% with the minimum bus fare increased by Rs.2, from the current Rs.10 to Rs.12. 

Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) president Gemunu Wijeratne told Daily Mirror the bus fare increase was much less than what private bus operators expected and therefore demanded a minimum bus fare hike of 10% with the minimum bus fare increased to Rs. 12.   


LATE-CITY-DM-2-2“We did not demand an increase of 15% or 20% but what the government has offered us is much less than what we expected. The new bus fare proposed by the NTC does not meet our minimum expenses and therefore, we have no option but to launch a countrywide work stoppage from midnight today,” he said.   


All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) secretary Anjana Priyanjith said the entire membership of his union will keep away from operating the buses from today midnight because they are unable to accept what the NTC had offered as new bus fares.   


“We will give the government 24 hours to rethink and provide a reasonable increase in bus fares to meet our operating costs. If the government fails to respond positively to our demand we will have no option but to remove our buses from the roads,” he said.   Inter Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) president Sarath Vijithakumara said his membership too will stop working from today midnight if the government failed to meet 
their demands.   


“I have information that the NTC had proposed an increase of Rs.2 to the minimum bus fare and the subsequent stages by 10% but the ministers had protested at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting and brought down the bus fare hike to 6.56% which is unsatisfactory. I don’t think the Cabinet has considered the 12 factors used as a criteria when reviewing bus fares annually in July like the cost of spare parts, fuel, crew payments, etc. Therefore we will definitely stop working if the government fails to increase bus fares to meet our minimum costs,” he said.   


All private bus operators said they would give 24 hours grace to the government to reconsider the bus fare revision approved by the government yesterday and offer them a resonable bus fare increase sufficient to meet their running costs.   

 

 

We did not demand an increase of 15% or 20% but what the government has offered us is much less than what we expected