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Bus strike called off


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By Skandha Gunasekara

Private bus owners associations yesterday called off their planned strike following fruitful discussions with the Deputy Minister of Transport Ashoka Abeysinghe, where an agreement was reached to increase bus fares by 12.5%.

The minimum bus fare was also increased to Rs. 12 during yesterday’s discussion which was held at the Ministry headquarters.

“We came to an agreement that bus fares would be increased by 12.5% and the minimum fare would be increased to Rs. 12. A proposal in this regard will be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers next Tuesday (22 May),” Deputy Minister Abeysinghe told the Daily FT.

He went on to note that new fares would come into effect following Cabinet approval of the proposal. 

Meanwhile, Secretary to the All Ceylon Private Bus Owners’ Federation (ACPBOF) and the Inter-Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) Anjana Priyanjith confirmed that the island-wide strike, which was to begin at midnight yesterday, was called off. “We have called off the strike till next Tuesday, when we hope the new bus fare rates would be implemented,” Priyanjith told the Daily FT. 

The Cabinet on Tuesday (15 May) decided to increase bus fares by 6.56% in accordance with the fuel price hike. 

The private bus owners associations threatened to engage in an island-wide strike if their demands of increasing bus fares by 20% and the minimum fare to Rs. 15 were not met.  (SG)


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