Govt eliminates cartels
- Minister announces decision after talks with bus operators
May 8, 2018-Transport Minister Raghubir Mahaseth on Monday announced the federal government’s success in abolishing cartels that controlled public transport, commercial lorries and tankers in Nepal.
The announcement follows the agreement reached between the officials of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) and the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) representatives at their meeting held on Monday night.
Transport entrepreneurs resolved their issues with the ministry and agreed to the government’s decision to end their syndicate. At a press meet on Monday, the minister said transport operators have withdrawn all protests.
“Syndicates controlling public transport, trucks and tankers have come to an end,” Mahaseth said at the joint press meeting.
The government will not renew transport committees from the upcoming fiscal year. Transport firms have to register as a company to ply public transport.
The four-point agreement concluded between the government and FNNTE officials states the operators would welcome the government move of scrapping all transport syndicates. The decision enables people owning even one vehicle to operate public transport services.
The minister said the two sides have agreed to form a taskforce to streamline public transport. The task force has a 30-day deadline to table recommendations on vehicle routes, fare, bus park management, insurance, standard code of conduct for vehicle operators and their staff, compensation and e-ticketing, the minister said.
The ministry also vowed to abolish taxi syndicates.
MoPIT Spokesperson Rajendra Raj Sharma said, “We will now get after taxi service providers. The government will not tolerate any form of syndicate in the sector.” The government’s repeated attempts to introduce fair taxi fares have failed. Even though the government has fixed taxi fare, most of the drivers do not comply with it and arbitrarily charge 50 to 100 percent more than the due fare as per taximeter.
Representatives of FNNTE said they would not be able to bear medical treatment cost of passengers in case of accidents because the government has frozen their bank accounts.
The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Sunday directed banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to freeze the bank accounts of various transport entrepreneurs who backed transport syndicate. The central bank, after an advisory from the finance ministry, directed the BFIs to freeze the accounts of transport committees running syndicates.
The Home Ministry, along with MoPIT, last Friday decided to freeze bank accounts of transporters following their strike call. The government also detained top office bearers of bus operators’ committees. The authorities released them on Sunday after they committed in writing to comply with the laws and the government’s policies.
Account freezing ‘can’t be undone’
KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport said on Monday that it cannot revoke the government decision of freezing bank accounts of transport operators who backed transport syndicate. Minister Raghubir Mahaseth said the ministry cannot revoke the decision as it does not fall under its jurisdiction. “The government has already frozen bank accounts and initiated a case of money laundering,” he said, and added that it is up to the concerned ministry to decide this issue. (PR)
Published: 08-05-2018 08:27