Private Bus Operators and taxi operators today voiced their displeasure over the fuel price hike that came into effect midnight and the new increased fines for traffic offences.
The All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) said it had decided to hoist black flags on buses to express its opposition to the recent fuel price hike and implementation of new traffic fines from Sunday (15)
It said that the hoisting of black flags on buses would be done countrywide on the date of implementing the traffic fines.
“The initial resistance will be done with hoisting black flags on buses. Later several actions will be taken. It may end with a countrywide bus strike,” Mr Priyanjith said.
“By hoisting black flags, we urge the Government to roll back on the fuel price and traffic fines,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said, b by increasing traffic fines for 33 offences the Government was attempting to increase its revenue.
“During the previous discussions with Ministers, we had agreed on increasing fine of Rs.25,000 for seven traffic offenses. But the Government had given a totally different result,” he said.
“During the discussions I have urged Ministers that our association agreed to the proposed seven traffic offences, due to increase of road accidents and due to increasing of number of deaths,” he said.
“By increasing traffic fines for 33 offences, the Government cannot reduce road accidents but would be able to increase Government revenue,” Mr Wijeratne said.
“Before implementing new fines and regulations the road infrastructure should be developed such as road capacity and proper bus halts.
“We have requested a meeting with the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Finance State Minister Eran Wickramaratne this evening to discuss the fuel pricing formula.
“The formula should be transparent, when calculating the fuel price and it should be exhibited to the general public,” he said.
He said that a bus fare policy should also be implemented and it should be taken under the Finance Ministry.
Meanwhile, All Island Three Wheel Taxi Driver Association’s Lalith Dharmasekara said pointed out that the increase of fines for traffic offences had been increased by 150 percent.
“The minimum traffic fine would be Rs.1,000,” he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)