Minister dismisses request to increase bus fares | Daily News


Minister dismisses request to increase bus fares

Passenger Transport Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said that it is difficult to raise private bus fares given the country’s situation, but all other relief measures will be taken to protect the private bus industry.

The Minister said this at a meeting held with representative of private bus companies.

He said that a number of relief measures have been taken to protect the private bus industry on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in view of the pandemic situation.

Instructions have been given by the Central Bank to leasing and insurance companies to offer moratorium for leasing rentals and insurance installments of private bus owners. A grace period has also given for renewal of driver’s licence and insurance certificate.

IGP will be informed not to take legal actions against private bus drivers=who have not renewed their driving licences and insurance certificates,” the Minister said.

During thes discussion, private bus owners requested the government for permission to increase bus fare claiming that fares have not been revised in nearly two years.

They said they do not receive a proper income since they are following the guidelines by the health authorities.

Since the people do not use public transport because of the COVID-19 pandemic, daily income of bus owners has reduced drastically, they said.

However, the Minister said it is not possible to go for bus fare hike at this moment as all sectors in the country are facing losses due to the pandemic situation, but, he is ready to hold further discussion in order to provide more reliefs to the sector,” he stated.

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