Bus operators will likely get the fare increase, but it has to go through an independent process

Bus operators likely to get fare increase, but must go through independent process – AG

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. [Image: Parliament of Fiji]

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Fiji Bus Operators Association does not tell the public they can go through the Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission to seek higher fees. bus fares.

He says that in fact the Fiji Bus Operators Association has a meeting with the FCCC next Tuesday because they have asked for a fare increase.

In his right of reply during the debate on the revised 2021-2022 budget, Sayed-Khaiyum said the Association would likely get the increase in bus fares, but had to go through this independent process.

He says the Association is threatening the government and threatening Fiji that they have not done enough in the budget for bus operators.

He says the government is trying to make sure there are transparent systems.

The Fiji Bus Operators Association is disappointed that no relief has been given to them in the revised budget to help the industry stay afloat at a time when the cost of doing business has risen dramatically.

In a statement, they say that if no further help is offered, bus operators will reluctantly have to consider taking steps to alleviate the difficult operating environment.

The Association says there will be disruption to bus services if the government is unable to help the bus industry mitigate the impact of rising operating costs.

They ask the public to understand the extremely difficult position the industry finds itself in and to support them during this time.

The Association says it had hoped that in the absence of an increase in bus fares, at least duty-free fuel would be granted to bus companies.

They say scrapping the 20-cent fuel tax makes no sense since the price of fuel is expected to rise on April 1, the day the scrap takes effect.

The Association claims that the Minister of Economy himself has stated that freight costs have generally increased and that since bus operators are unable to pass on these increased costs to fuel, parts spare parts and lubricants, it will be extremely difficult to maintain safe and comfortable operations. .

They say bus operators will meet next week with the Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission to discuss the level of bus fares and they hope for a positive outcome from the meeting.

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