Transport fare hike threatened
Kathmandu, February 19:
Transport entrepreneurs have served a three-day ultimatum to the government to either
revoke its decision to hike the price of petroleum products or increase transport fares
President of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE), Yogendra Karmacharya, said the entrepreneurs would be compelled to hike fares if the government did not increase them within three days.
He said the entrepreneurs have been bearing losses since the government increased the price of diesel and petrol six months ago. “Now we cannot wait anymore,” he said adding that the federation will meet the concerned ministers tomorrow.
Vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs (FNTE), Tulsi Ram Maharjan, said they have decided to hike the fares for short distance routes by Rs 2. “We have been called by the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) tomorrow at 2 pm to discuss the matter,” he said. However, MoLTM spokesperson said there was no decision on the issue of fare hike as the office remained closed today and yesterday.
On November 7, Fare Review and Recommendation Committee had suggested the government to hike transport fares by 12 and 15 per cent respectively for long or medium routes and short or local transportation. Likewise, the committee had recommended 16 per cent hike in the existing fare of meter taxis. However, the ministry did not approve the recommendations. This is the second time the government has increased the price of the petroleum products in the last six months. Earlier, fuel price was increased on August 19.
Meanwhile, transport workers have demanded that the government revoke its decision to raise the price of petroleum products. “The government’s decision to provide monopoly in deciding the price of petroleum products will cause much difficulty to the people,” stated a release issued by the Independent Transport Workers’ Association of Nepal (ITWAN).
The Nepal Transport Workers’ Association of Nepal also demanded the government to withdraw the decision.