Transport fare hike not now, says minister

Kathmandu, November 28:

Assistant minister for Labour and Transport Management Golchhe Sarki has said that the government is not in a mood to raise transportation fares as recommended by the fare review committee. “Since the prices of petroleum products are likely to increase in the near future, the government will raise the transportation fares later,” assistant minister Sarki told this daily. The assistant minister said raising fares at this time would only cause more difficulties to the people and the entrepreneurs to adjust to the increased fares. “So the fares will be adjusted as soon as the prices of petroleum products go up,” he said, hinting that the cabinet was waiting for the King’s arrival for this important decision.

The president of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) Yogendra Karmacharya said the federation had decided to ‘wait and see’. “We have heard that the government will soon raise the price of petroleum products. The government is then expected to increase transportation fares after the arrival of the King,” he further said. “As the present environment is not conducive for strikes, we will wait for the King’s return,” the FNNTE president said. However, the acting president of the Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs (FNTE) Bhairav Man Shrestha said the time had come to furnish an ultimatum to the government. “It will be few more days before the affiliated entrepreneur organisations put enough pressure to go for a strike,” he further said. The Fare Review Recommendation Committee (FRRC) headed by the acting director general of Department of Transport Management (DoTM) had recommended the government to raise transportation fares by 12 to 16 per cent on November 7, 2005.