Government agrees to unfreeze bank accounts of transport committees that have registered as companiesThe task of unfreezing and facilitating them to conduct normal operations will be completed by mid-July, the officials said.
Government agencies have agreed to unfreeze bank accounts of the transport committees which have registered themselves as companies, officials said.
In a broader crackdown on transport syndicate, the government had decided on April 17 last year not to register or renew the transport committees under Associations Registration Act-1977 while encouraging them to register as companies.
In order to mount further pressure on them, a meeting of government agencies led by Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth on May 4 last year had decided to freeze bank accounts of the transport committees.
“A meeting of government agencies coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office decided last week to unfreeze bank accounts of the transport committees registered as companies for facilitating them to conduct regular works,” said Sishir Dhungana, secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“After they are registered as companies, the properties belonging to committees are supposed to be transferred in the name of the company.”
Officials from the PMO, Home Ministry, Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, Department of Transport Management and Office of Company Registrars, among others had attended the meeting.
“Based on the understanding reached at the meeting, the PMO has sent a letter to the Home Ministry to facilitate such companies to conduct their regulator works,” said Dhungana.
The task of unfreezing and facilitating them to conduct normal operations will be completed by mid-July, the officials said.
Home Ministry spokesperson Ram Krishna Subedi said he was unaware of the letter being sent by the PMO as he was on leave. “I don’t know about any decision on unfreezing the bank accounts yet,” he said.
According to the Office of Company Registrar, around 118 transport committees out of 292 identified by the government registered as companies by June 1, 2019—the deadline set by the amended Company Act.
“Those who are not registered as companies will not get route permits and any facility from the government,” said Kumar Prasad Dahal, director general of the Department of Transport Management.
Under the amended Transport Management Directives, the transport committees were asked to register themselves as companies by April 1 last year.
However, in a bid to encourage more transport committees to convert themselves into companies the government had announced a provision allowing them to register as a company with more than 101 shareholders and extended the deadline until June 1. This time-bound special provision was on offer until June 1, any committees registering after that deadline cannot expand the number of shareholders beyond 101.
There are fears that this provision—that offers transport entrepreneurs to register as a company with a large number of shareholders—could invite another syndicate.
But Tanka Bhattarai, assistant spokesperson for the Office of Company Registrar, told the Post that the size of the registered companies constitute on average 25-30 members. “However, they have the option of expanding the number of shareholders in the future,” he said.
The transport syndicate has prevented the competition in the transport sector, forcing the general public to travel in old and dilapidated public vehicles while paying the fares fixed by the syndicate, particularly on long routes.