Govt proposes 19% hike in fare

Transporters call off indefinite strike

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Feb 24: After the Government agreed on 19% hike in transport fare, the Jammu and Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association today called off its proposed indefinite strike in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Transport Commissioner, J&K Pradeep Kumar said that during meeting of the Transport Association representatives at the Civil Secretariat today most of the issues of the transporters were resolved. He said a hike of 19 % fare was agreed during the meeting. This proposal of Fare and Freight Committee headed by Commissioner/ Secretary Finance is being forwarded to the Administrative Council for final approval.
Replying to a question, the Transport Commissioner further said, “This exercise of SAC approved may take couple of days and then a formal notification will be issued in this regard.”
On the passenger fare hike, LG office tweeted this evening, “As per past practice, annual revision of 10 % hike in the transport fare was pending for the last three years. Even with the 19 % hike, transport fare in J&K still remains lesser than neighbouring States.”
Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association, general secretary Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf said that the decision to call off strike was taken after the Government decided to increase fare by 19 per cent.
He said the decision was taken during a meeting with the Finance Commissioner, Finance Department, Arun Kumar Mehta, who is also chairman of the Fare and Freight Committee along with the Transport Commissioner and other officers.
The meeting was also attended by Commissioner/Secretary Transport, Hardesh Kumar Singh, Transport Commissioner J&K, Pradeep Kumar and other officials at Civil Secretariat today.
“The Government in principle agreed to all our demands. The Government and our representatives agreed on a 19 % increase in fare,” Yousuf said.
Vijay Singh Chib, president Mini Bus Union Jammu province and senior member All J&K Transporters Welfare Association said that transporters had proposed 30% hike in passenger fare in view of steep hike in the rates of petrol and diesel and moreover, no hike was ordered during last three years but later agreed on 19 % after discussion with officers. Regarding other two demands including waiver on Passenger and Road tax during the lockdown period, Chib said a committee is being constituted which will make assessment of the amount involved and submit its report to the Government.
Chib further said since huge amount is involved in waiver of tax during lockdown period, the Government has sought one month’s time. He said the talks were held under congenial atmosphere and remained successful. After this, the Transporters Welfare Association unanimously decided to call off strike. The official order in this regard is expected to be issued within a day or two, Chib added.