Despite the Dashain festival approaching soon, the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) has not opened advanced booking of bus tickets for long-distance travellers.
According to the federation, the opening date for booking bus tickets has not been decided as transport entrepreneurs are not in a position to provide services under the present circumstances unless the government fulfills their demands.
Dekhnath Gautam, spokesperson for FNNTE, said, “We want the concerned authorities to reduce various types of taxes added on fuel purchase including road development tax, infrastructure tax, pollution tax, among others, at least for the time being,” he pointed out.
The FNNTE has also voiced concern for road maintenance in Kathmandu-Dhangadi, Butwal-Narayanghat and Mugling-Narayanghat sections.
Gautam also said that despite there being a provision to revise the fares if the fuel rates change by five per cent, the government has not made any adjustment even as diesel price has surged by almost 13 per cent since the last fare revision.
“We do not want the government to increase the bus fares as it will quicken inflation. However, we want the government to revise the fuel prices by reducing the taxes imposed on it. If the government continues to remain mum, we will be forced to hold a gathering within mid-September, apologise to the public, and shut our services,” Gautam informed The Himalayan Times. Consumer rights activists, meanwhile, complained that consumers have been unable to benefit from the drop in fuel prices in the international markets.
It is difficult to say whether the IOC is cheating NOC or if the NOC is cheating the public,” Prem Lal Maharjhan, president of National Consumers Forum, complained.
He also lamented that the ruling coalition government has turned a blind eye to the ‘straight robbery’, which has made the lives of the general public even more difficult.
Earlier, the NOC had issued a notice stating that it owes Rs 21 billion to the IOC for the purchase of petroleum products. The amount to be paid to the IOC has increased due to NOC’s failure to make timely payment after facing heavy losses in the sale of petroleum products.
On Thursday, the NOC had hiked the prices of diesel and kerosene by six rupees per litre. Shyam Maharjgn of Dharan, shared that the increase in bus fares and the difficulties in procuring the tickets have become an annual event.