With the increase in fuel price, the government has approved an increase of 6.5 % on bus fares while maintaining the minimum fare of 10 rupees. However unions expressed their dissent over the increment stating it was insufficient. Private bus owners unions have continued to demand the government increase bus fares over the past several days.
Private Bus owners unions claiming government approved increased bus fares are not line with the recent rise in fuel prices. Hence, they have decided to launch a strike starting from midnight today.
When media asked the Chairman of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association Gemunu Wijeratne about the bus fare to be charged today, whether the old rate or increased 6.5% rate, he didn’t give a direct reply. Instead he said officials had invited him to attend a discussion. However, he stressed Minister Nimal Siripala must take responsibility for this turn of events. Wijeratne stressed the Minister must be removed from his post adding the government has done nothing for the bus industry over the past three years. He noted the strike is the end result of many past issues, not simply fares. Meanwhile many private bus operators are expected to charge commuters a fare according to the proposed fare increment of 6.5%.
Wijeratne noted unions hope a solution will be provided to the issue by noon however if the government were to simply increase fares by 10% the issue would be resolved.