Plan to end transport monopolyIn yet another move against transport syndicates, the government is preparing not to renew registration of associations/committees of transport entrepreneurs.
In yet another move against transport syndicates, the government is preparing not to renew registration of associations/committees of transport entrepreneurs.
The Home Ministry has proposed not renewing their registration from the next fiscal year. If the Cabinet endorses the proposal, which is being discussed at the ministry, it will be the biggest blow to the cartels that exercise virtual monopoly over public transport sector.
According to ministry officials, the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had renewed their registration last year “one time” until mid-July 2018. “As they are running syndicates in the name of committees without paying taxes, a proposal for not renewing their registration after the deadline expires is under consideration,” said Home Secretary Prem Rai. In practice, transport associations/committees are renewed by the respective district administration offices under the ministry.
Following the disruption caused by a group of 11 transport committees operating on the route east of Koteshwor, the government has taken a tough position against the syndicate. On Friday, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) opened the route permits on all roads across the country for competitive distribution by amending the Transport Management Directives-2004. The old directives required new vehicle owners to get permission from the transport committees/associations to run vehicles on any route.
Since these associations/committees have complete hold, entry of new companies is generally blocked even after getting route permits from the department. The recent case involved protest by the transport syndicate on Araniko Highway against the permission granted to Mayur Yatayat. After the government threatened to cancel their permit, 11 transport committees that obstructed vehicular movement on the Koteshwor-Banepa segment were forced to withdraw their agitation.
Despite the government’s strong position, transport associations seem to be defiant. The central executive meeting of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs on Monday decided to launch a series of agitations against the decision to amend the directives.
FNNTE President Saroj Sitaula has requested the government not to decide in haste. “Government is our guardian. If it does not consult with entrepreneurs, we’ll be compelled to protest,” he said, expressing their readiness to reform the system.
“We humbly request the government not to take a unilateral decision,” said Sitaula. If the government did so, the transport entrepreneurs would bring traffic to a halt.