By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
The Finance Ministry officials have no concern about how people travel by using public transport, Transport Minister Arjuna Ranatunga complained.
He said most of the passenger transport buses which are being imported were fitted with lorry chassis and they are very uncomfortable.
“I planned to import 2,000 buses for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). I tried more than one and a half months to get the approval from the cabinet. But Ministry officials have no concern in this regard. They do not even care about how people used to travel in buses fitted with lorry chassis,” the Minister said.
Ministry officials stay in air-conditioned rooms and they travel in luxury vehicles. They do not have a feeling of how ordinary people travel. Most of the ministry officials have become victims of private bus mafia.I will look into this matter in another two weeks and will make a decision whether to remain in this ministry, the Minister said.
“I have no faith with the Finance Ministry officials. We do not request government fund for the SLTB bus imports. Most of the people blame politicians, but we are in trouble for the work done by ministry officials,” the Minister said. If we import buses through an investor, no one will get commissions. That’s why the ministry officials don’t pass the proposals.If this practice remains for another two weeks, I will complain this to the President and the Prime Minister about how the officials function. My opinion is to remove all ministry officials’ vehicles at least for two months and let them travel using public transport. Then they would understand why people asking for comfortable buses and trains.
I have no faith with the Finance Ministry officials. We do not request government fund for the SLTB bus imports