Govt strikes back at striking transporters

  • To probe their assets
  • Route permit of vehicles that stayed off the roads to be suspended

Kathmandu, May 4

The government has decided to act tough against office-bearers of the now-defunct Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs and its constituents for violating the ban on strike in essential services and actively resisting the government’s move to end the transport syndicate.

A meeting of Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth and Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Chiranjibi Nepal held at the home ministry today decided to initiate the process of investigating the assets of the agitating transport entrepreneurs.

“For this purpose, the Department of Transport Management will collect details of entrepreneurs from the concerned district administration office and provide the same to the Department of Money Laundering Investigation,” said a source at the home ministry. DMLI is the principal entity to probe and prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism in Nepal.

The meeting also decided to ask the DoTM to write to the central bank through the Ministry of Finance to withhold bank accounts of the FNNTE and other transport entrepreneurs’ committees that went on strike and attempted to paralyse public movement.

The meeting also urged transport entrepreneurs to abide by laws and continue their service unconditionally. At the meeting, Minister Mahaseth said the government would scrap the provisions, which require a person to have at least five vehicles to obtain registration certificate of transport entrepreneur as a company.

“We will ensure that even a single vehicle will be entitled to the status of a company,” said the source.

Home Minister Thapa and Transport Minister Mahaseth said the government was ready to address some genuine demands of the agitating entrepreneurs, but would never backtrack from its decision to abolish the transport syndicate.

“Minister Mahaseth told the meeting that the government would suspend the route permit of vehicles which stayed off the roads in support of the strike today. Route permit will be continued, only if the entrepreneurs express commitment in writing to stay away from the strike,” the source informed.