All assets of organizations in the transport sector will come under govt ownership

Published On: May 6, 2018 05:41 AM NPT By: Rudra Pangeni  | @rudrapang

KATHMANDU, May 6: All assets of over 300 Bus Entrepreneurs Committees and their federations, which won't exist by the end of Mid July, will come under ownership of government automatically as per law. Such assets which will come under government ownership includes the money deposited in the banks, office buildings and other movable assets owned by those committees, which are registered at the district administration offices under  Association Registration Act 1977.

Section 14 of the act says that if any such organizations are scrapped or fail to operate all the assets and properties comes under government ownership.      

With the government decision of April 17 barring their renewal, all assets of these organizations will under government ownership after Mid July said Ram Krishna Subedi, spokesperson of Ministry of Home Affairs. All bank accounts of over 300 committees and have been frozen on Friday by the government decision barring them to use the money.  
Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneur has its own two-storied building at Balkumari in Kathmandu with a spacious parking area while all major Bus Operators'   Committees which has significant number of members have their own buildings in every zones, major cities as well as in few district headquarters according to government officials. 

“The government will take control of those properties including buildings and other assets as per law as it has already started by freezing their bank accounts on Friday,” added Subedi. 

Source of money of these rich committees mostly came from the membership fees allowing any individuals under the committee, which provides protection in case of accidents and secures their income by managing rotation of services and cartellling also pay some expenses for handling the bus accidents.  

Such fee for operating a bus stands in a range between Rs 800,000 to Rs 1 million in the recent years. They also use the such money to influence authorities (politicians, ministers and even bureaucrats) to thwart any moves against their cartelling and syndicate, which was declared illegal and the government was asked to null all such activities in a Supreme Court verdict of 2011. 

Until recently the officials of the Department of Transport Management issued new route permits to new entrepreneurs only based on the recommendations of those committees and federations.  Some government officials also assume that the committees may also have been running buses directly under the ownership of committees to manage the huge funds generated from memberships.  

Commenting on the money they collect by issuing permission to the new bus operators, Former Secretary of Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Tulasi Sitaula said, “They say the money is for welfare of the members but most of the money used in their elections of their own committees and federations as well as other regular expenses of their services.” 

Until 2008, bus entrepreneurs used to hike bus fare in the equal percentage of price hike in fuel though the share of fuel price in the bus fare is only 35 percentage by influencing bureaucrats. But after there is a formula in which weight of fuel is only 35 percent. 

The cabinet decision of April 17 had decided not to register or renew any institutions (committees and federations) related to transportation sector in the district administration offices as per the Associations Registration Act. Such associations are asked to operate as companies by registering as per the Companies Act within three months. 

In an attempt to control illegal activities they are carrying out, the government on Friday also decided to investigate the property of key office-bearers of those committees and federations. 

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