Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Private bus owners seek another price hike

More trouble seem to be brewing in the transport sector with private bus owners demanding another bus fare increase on top of the 20 percent that was granted following the fuel price hike.
The Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association pointed out that they should have received a bus fare increase of 22% following the fuel price hike according to the annual bus fare revision formula.

According to the national policy both parties had agreed to revise bus fares in the month of June every year.

In addition the bus fare could be revised when fuel prices are increased.

Thereby, following the strike launched by the Private Bus Owners' Associations in the wake of the fuel price hike the government allowed an increase in bus fares.

However, the Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association now claims that the recent bus fare increase only compensated for the fuel price hike and not the annual bus fare increase they are entitled to.

''The Chairman of the National Transport Commission said that the recent 20% bus fare increase was done considering all factors and after agreeing not to revise fares in July. There are eleven other factors that need to be taken into consideration other than fuel. However, this has been announced without considering these 11 factors.''

'''Therefore we will have to face obstacles in the future. The Lanka private bus owners association is aware that we will have to incur loses due to this. We believe that bus fares need to be increased by around 22%,'' said the President of Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association, Gemunu Wijeratne.

When we inquired from the Chairman of the National Transport Commission about this he said that he did not wish to comment.

Minister of Private Transport Services, C. B. Ratnayake noted that the maximum possible bus fare increase had already been given to bus owners.

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