Govt. move makes bus operators happy

Six per cent bus fare hike from Aug 01


by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Cabinet yesterday approved a six per cent bus fare hike after considering a report submitted by Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva.

The minimum bus fare will go up by one rupee to Rs. 9.00.

New fares will be implemented from August 01 and the list of revised bus fares will be announced by the National Transport Commission (NTC) shortly.

Bus fares are revised on July 01 every year according to a government policy and bus owners associations demanded a 15% fare increment this year.

However, the government did not agree to their demand and appointed a committee to make recommendations to the Cabinet before the increase.

The Committee comprising Secretary of the Ministry Nihal Somaweera, M. A. P. Hemachandra (Chairman, NTC), D. W. A. Narangoda (Director General NTC), C. Jayasuriya (Director General National Budget Department), M. M. S. S. B. Yalegama (Director, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs), Sampath Angulugaha (Director, Consumer Affairs Authority), Wasantha Algama (Assistant Labour Commissioner) and Mahinda Bandara (Lecturer, University of Moratuwa), handed over the report to Minister Silva on Monday and it was submitted to the Cabinet yesterday.

When contacted for comment President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijeratne said they were satisfied with 6% bus fare hike, but they had not been informed of it officially so far.

General Secretary of the All Island Private Bus Operators Federation Anjana Priyanjith said they had asked for 10% fare increase, but government had offered only 3% to them.

Therefore, they had agreed to 6% fare increase from August 01, Priyanjith said.

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