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Government announces end of syndicate in public transport

By Our Reporter
The government has finally succeeded to end syndicate in the public transportation sector. A minor incident in which a few persons working in other buses or hired by pro-syndicate bus entrepreneurs pelted stones at the buses of the Mayur Yatayat along the Banepa-Kathmandu route a few weeks back culminated into the end of syndicate in the public transport sectors. And it has been the biggest achievement of the present Oli-led government.
After the government presented itself strongly when the transport entrepreneurs resorted to a strike on May 4 by arresting a large number of bus entrepreneurs who did not operate their buses supporting the strike and cancelling route permits of others, the entrepreneurs finally agreed with the government to end their syndicate. The government also decided to freeze the bank accounts of all committees of the transport entrepreneurs.
Transport Minister Raghubir Mahaseth announced the successful abolishment of cartels that controlled public transport, commercial lorries and tankers in Nepal on Monday following the agreement reached between the officials of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) and the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) representatives at their meeting held on Monday night.
Transport entrepreneurs agreed to the government’s decision to end their syndicate and withdrew  all protests, Minister Mahaseth told the press.
The government has decided not to renew transport committees from the upcoming fiscal year. Transport firms have to register as a company to ply public transport.
The four-point agreement concluded between the government and FNNTE officials states the operators would welcome the government move of scrapping all transport syndicates. The decision enables people owning even one vehicle to operate public transport services.
The ministry also vowed to abolish taxi syndicates.
The strong stance taken by Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa against syndicate and use of force against the pro-syndicate transport entrepreneurs as well as the strong public support to the government move to end syndicate resulted in the complete abolition of syndicate from public transportation sector.
Meanwhile, the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has directed banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to freeze the bank accounts of various transport entrepreneurs who backed transport syndicate. The central bank, after an advisory from the finance ministry, directed the BFIs to freeze the accounts of transport committees running syndicates.
Earlier, the Home Ministry, along with MoPIT, had decided to freeze bank accounts of transporters following their strike call.

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