June 14, 2021, 9:47 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-05-16 07:46:40 BdST

Transport owners, workers renew call to allow highway buses

Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association (BRTOA), Bangladesh Bus-Truck Owners' Association, and Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation have reiterated their five-point demand, including one for permission to operate highway buses.

Leaders of the central and regional bodies of the association made the demand recently, saying 31 lakh people associated with public transport sector are suffering from financial crisis due to ban on plying of highway buses.

Leaders of Rajshahi region threatened to operate highway buses from Sunday defying any ban. All bodies of the transport sectors across the country reached consensus in this regard, they said.

Transport owners and workers placed the demand for allowing long-distance transport to facilitate Eid return journey.

Lawmaker Shahjahan Khan, president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation, also spoke on the occasion.

The demands are as follows:

1. Allowing operations of goods and public vehicles, including long-distance ones maintaining health guidelines and functioning at half capacity.

2. (A) Giving financial and food aid to workers who lost jobs during the lockdown.

(B) Allocating Tk 5,000 crore stimulus package --at low interest rate and under easy conditions -- to transport owners to ensure workers' salary.

3. Distributing OMS rice at Tk 10 per kg at bus and truck terminals around the country.

4. Getting all banks and financial organisations to waive debt interest for public transport businesses, and suspend installments till December 31 due to Covid-19; changing classified debts into unclassified ones in exchange for a two percent down payment.

5. Waiving tax-token, route permit fees of vehicles due to closure during the lockdown, and extend the deadline for updating documents till December 31.

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