Private Bus services across the country are most likely to come to a standstill tomorrow due to the countrywide strike to be launched by private bus owners. Two major bus owners associations in the country, Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) and All Island Private Bus Owners.
Federation (AIPBOF) claimed that they will engage in countrywide strike opposing the government's proposal to increase the minimum fine for violating the motor traffic laws.
LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne told that it is unfair to increase the fine and it will affect the bus industry adversely. He added that Rs 2,500 it too much to bear for a bus operator and raising revenue through hurting the common man cannot be accepted.
"I have informed about the matter to the Prime Minister as well. If we do not receive a favourable reply we will go on a countrywide strike," added Wijeratne.
Meanwhile, AIPBOF General Secretary Anjana Indrajith said, it was difficult to stick to all traffic laws which were introduced decades back, with an infrastructure system that has not developed along with the increase of vehicles.
"If we are to pay Rs 2,500 as fines there would not be any operational profit for bus owners. This proposal would lead bus industry to its end," he added.
Delivering the Budget statement, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, "road accidents claim more and more lives daily. Most of the accidents are due to the traffic violations. I propose to increase fines charged on traffic offences and to increase the minimum fine to Rs 2,500."