Private Bus owners have requested the Finance Ministry for diesel subsidies of Rs.76 per litre to keep up with the imminent rise in the price of diesel.
Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) President Gemunu Wijeyratne said the subsidies were necessary to meet the rising cost of living and the rapid fall in the demand for bus services.
Wijeyratne said from 2010 to 2011 one bus lost an estimated 20 passengers each day due, an instead used alternate means of transport such as motorbikes and three-wheelers which were cheaper and more efficient than public bus transport.
“There are some elements that are interfering in the bus industry with the involvement of certain politicians. It is they who are responsible for the destruction of the economy,” Wijeyratne said.
Meanwhile private bus operators in the Southern Province have decided to go on a token strike on February 13 owing to the high diesel prices. Wijeyratne said the PBOA had given its consent to their decision. (Olindhi Jayasundere)