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Bus strike off, fares up by 3.5 pc

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Private bus operators yesterday decided to call off their planned strike after the government agreed to permit a fare hike of 3.5 per cent.

A Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) delegation which met Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayaka made this decision as the government agreed to a fare hike proportionate to the recent increase in diesel prices. The price of a litre of diesel was increased by Rs. 8 per litre from Rs.76 to Rs. 84.

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne has received a letter signed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Private Bus Transport Victor Samaraweera to this effect.

The LPBOA pointed out to the Minister that short and long distance buses daily incurred losses to the tune of Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 and Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 each respectively as a result of the fuel price hikes.

The LPBOAinsisted on a bus fare hike or a fuel subsidy. It wanted diesel to be made available to its members at Rs.76 per litre. This request was turned down and the Minister agreed to a bus fare revision within one month.

When contacted, Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayaka said that he would convene a meeting of all private bus trade unions and take a final decision on the bus fare revision. He said he was convinced that the State transport Service, SLTB, was similarly affected.


Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 @ 09:25:29 LKT


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