May 16, Colombo: Private bus owners associations in Sri Lanka have decided cancel that was to be held from midnight today (16) following discussions with authorities.
Following successful discussions with Deputy Minister of Transport Ashoka Abeysinghe and Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, private bus owners' associations had taken this decision.
During the discussions it has been agreed to raise bus fares by 12.5 percent and raise the minimum fare to Rs. 12.
The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a 6.56 percent hike in fares but the private bus owners' associations earlier have requested to raise bus fares by 15 -20 percent.
Inter-Provincial Bus Owners' Association, All-Island Private Bus Owners' Federation (AIPBOF) and Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) have decided to launch a strike protesting the decision taken by the Cabinet. The All-Island Private Bus Owners' Federation was to launch a strike from midnight today (16) demanding a 20 percent increase in bus fares and to raise the minimum fare to Rs 15.
Meanwhile, the state-run Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) cancelled the leave of all SLTB bus drivers, conductors and mechanical staff until the planned strike by private bus operators is called off.
At the discussions today the Deputy Minister has agreed to a request made by the bus owners' associations to increase the 6.5 percent fare revision up to 12.5 percent and increase the minimum fare to 12 rupees.
The Deputy Minister has said that the fare revision will be submitted to the cabinet meeting next week and approval will be sought.