282 transport firms listed after end to syndicatePublic transport operators have not shown interest in registering as companies in the aftermath of a government crackdown on their syndicates.
Public transport operators have not shown interest in registering as companies in the aftermath of a government crackdown on their syndicates.
A total of 282 new transport firms have been registered as companies with the Office of the Company Registrar since the government made it mandatory for transport operators to be listed as companies before seeking new route permit.
According to official data, 282 new transport companies were listed from April 1 to July 17, which marked the end of the fiscal year.The number of transport companies listed as companies has reached 922 with the addition of 282 new companies since the government’s action.
The government amended the Transport Management Directives-2004 on April 1, in a bid to break public transport syndicates, which flourished under bus operators’ committees and associations. Besides scrapping the committees, the government also required transport entrepreneurs to register as taxpaying firms.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the agency that manages public transport, admits that the number of vehicles registered as companies has been nominal. The same directive credited with spelling the end of transport syndicates has also emerged as the reason behind the limited number of entrepreneurs voluntarily registering as companies.
The amended directive failed to make it mandatory for all transport operators to sign up as taxpaying firms. Company registration was made compulsory only for those new entrants seeking a route permit or existing operators willing to serve a new route.
“This rule was not mandatory for those operating buses with valid route permits,” said Transport Secretary Madhusudan Adhikari. “Had the directive been made it compulsory for all, most would have come for registration.”
The government is considering a year-end deadline for the operators to register as companies. Transport committees and associations have been illegal since the beginning of the new fiscal year. The government has already decided to stop the renewal and registration of transport committees and associations from the new fiscal.
Transport committees amassed billions of rupees over the years but were not required to pay taxes as non-profit organisations.“Registering as company is now mandatory for all. If they don’t enlist within the given deadline, the government will cancel their route permits,” said Secretary Adhikari.