Govt cranks up heat on transport committees

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 17, 2018-

The government has decided to freeze bank accounts of the agitating transport committees and investigate into their assets. 

A meeting held at the Home ministry on Tuesday, attended by Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Chiranjibi Nepal, among others, decided to block the bank accounts of all the transport committees which are believed to have amassed billions of rupees over the years.

On May 4, the government had suspended financial transaction of 245 transport committees that were involved in enforcing transport strike. There are more than 300 transport committees and associations.

A transport ministry official said concerns were raised over the decision to freeze bank accounts of only 245 committees instead of all those involved.

“Bank accounts of all the committees have been blocked following a circular from the NRB, directing the freezing of their accounts. The decision implied to all. It doesn’t mean bank account belonging to one can be frozen while others can use their accounts,” he said.

The meeting has also instructed the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) to collect details of other committees, whose bank accounts were not blocked earlier, and forward them to the Finance Ministry.

“We have pressed for the implementation of the decision, blocking any financial activities through bank accounts of such transport committees,” said Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai.

Besides suspending transactions through bank accounts, the government has also launched an investigation into the assets of the transport committees.

Secretary Rai said the Home Ministry has directed all the District Administration Offices to compile a detailed report on assets, including movable, immovable and shares of such transport committees, and submit it to the DoTM within 15 days.

Following the latest government move, the transport committees are claiming that they are not in position to pay the medical bills of passengers injured in accidents. Under the Public Transport Act, the transport committees are required to bear all expenses for treatment of injured passengers.

In a bid to address their concern, the government has decided to use the money from bank accounts of such committees in coordination with the DAO.

Published: 17-05-2018 08:21

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