Bus strike call: Govt to resolve issues before Dec 1

Bhubaneswar: A day after the decision of the private bus owners’ association to go on a strike from December 1 protesting proposed tax hike, the State government on Monday said it is trying to resolve the matter through discussion before the scheduled date of agitation.

“The Association submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister and me regarding their demands. We are trying to resolve the issue by discussing with the bus owners by December 1, the scheduled date of strike” Commerce and Transport minister Ramesh Majhi said.

No tax hike was made since 2005. Keeping various aspects in view, a proposal over increase in tax was approved in State Cabinet, Majhi said. However, it has not yet been executed since the proposal is waiting to get Assembly nod, the minister pointed out.

The private bus owners on Sunday called for a strike from December 1 protesting against government’s proposals to hike tax and plying of the JNNURM buses outside the cities.

Talking to media persons, general secretary of the Private Bus Owners’ Association Debendra Kumar Sahu had said, “Since the State government has increased taxes on all category of passenger buses, it has become impossible for us to run buses without increase in fare.”

With a demand not to increase taxes, the Association had submitted memorandums to Chief Minister, Transport Minister, Chief Secretary, Transport Secretary on September 14.