Supporters of transport cartel keen for talks with authorityAgitated by the government’s decision to dissolve transport syndicate, transport entrepreneurs are urging the government for talks to put an end to the deadlock.
Agitated by the government’s decision to dissolve transport syndicate, transport entrepreneurs are urging the government for talks to put an end to the deadlock.
The transport entrepreneurs, led by the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE), had declared a series of protest programmes a fortnight ago after the government amended the Transport Management Directive (2004) to end the syndicate and cartel in the public transport sector.
Agitated over the new amendment to the directive and decision barring registration and renewal of the transport committees and associations, the public transport operators had threatened to go on nationwide infinite strikes. However, the government has remained firm with its decision, calling for these committees to register as companies.
With the government not showing any sign of refraining from its crackdown on cartel and syndicate promoters, the protesting transport operators’ threat of protests have fizzled out.
Organising a press conference in Kathmandu on Wednesday, two transport associations have urged the government and takeholders concerned to resolve the dispute immediately through talks. “We request the prime minister, ministers, leaders from different political parties, to take necessary initiatives to immediately solve the problems facing the transport sector through talks,” said the associations said in a statement.
They have also put forth 13-point demands as suggestion for ending the deadlock, which has gone for weeks now.
Their suggestion includes renewal of the transport committees and associations within this fiscal year and scrapping of the recently amended directive.
“If these associations cannot be renewed within the given time, then a new act or any other related law should be taken into consideration to oversee the sector. A separate authority should be set up for the registration of these associations,” said Shree Prasad Mainali, president of the Union for Democratic Transport Entrepreneurs, Nepal. They have also called for a separate commission, comprising representatives from different stakeholders, to find a sustainable solution to the existing problem and reconsider the ban imposed on operations of the vehicles older than 20 years.
As per their protest programmes, the transport entrepreneurs will on Friday keep their vehicles at the garage.
“We will keep our vehicles off the roads as planned. We haven’t called off any protest. We are open to talks with the government,” said FNNTE General Secretary Saroj Sitaula, adding that the transport associations close to the left parties had pledged their support to the associations in the ongoing agitation.
The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has already warned that the government will cancel route permit of vehicles if they stop their services and join the protest.