Govt forms taskforce to regulate public transport under Companies Act

Published On: May 8, 2018 07:24 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, May 8: With the public transport operators formally agreeing to operate under the Companies Act, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has decided to form a taskforce to devise new standards and criteria for the management and regulation of the public transport sector.

“Just scrapping the transport entrepreneurs committees, which had been operating as cartels, is not enough to manage the sector. We need to formulate new standards and criteria to make the public transport sector responsible, effective and efficient and to provide relief to the public. For this we have decided to form a taskforce,” Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Raghubir Mahaseth said at a press conference at the ministry of Monday afternoon.

Minister Mahaseth informed that the taskforce is being formed in line with a five-point agreement reached between the ministry and the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) on Sunday night to end the public transport syndicate.  

According to Rajendra Raj Sharma, spokesperson of the ministry, the seven-member taskforce, which will be formed immediately, will be led by a joint-secretary of the ministry while director general of the Department of Transport Management, DIG of Traffic Police, two transport experts, a representative of public transport operators and a section officer of the ministry will be members. 
“The taskforce will have 30 days to recommend necessary measures that the government should take to make the public transport responsible, effective and efficient,” Sharma said. 

Sharma said that the taskforce will recommend measures to implement all the provisions envisioned in the existing laws like reservation seats in public vehicles, safety provisions, and dress code for drivers and bus helps, among others. Similarly, the taskforce has been mandated to recommend possible concessions that the ministry can offer to the public transport operators when they come under the Companies Act within the next three months.

“Similarly, the taskforce has been asked to make recommendations with regard to insurance and compensation for injuries and deaths in the event of accidents involving public transport vehicles once the transport operators come under the Companies Act,” he said, adding, the taskforce will also suggest possible measures for implementing e-ticketing and digital dial system in the public transport sector.

Speaking to the media later, Minister Mahaseth, however, said that his ministry cannot say anything on the Nepal Rastra Bank’s decision to freeze the accounts of all the transportation committees and investigate into the property of the officer bearers of the transportation committees.  

In a move to end the public transport syndicate, the government has frozen the bank accounts maintained in the names of the transport entrepreneurs’ committees and associations and also announced to investigate the property of their office bearers on Friday.

FNTE President Yogendra Nath Karmacharya said that the federation will work jointly with the ministry to end all sorts of anomalies prevalent in the public transport sector and make it more effective and efficient.

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