Hop Along

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Private bus fares will go up by around 15 percent from October 1, in response to the government’s decision to raise diesel prices by Rs. 8.00 last Friday. Private bus fares will go up by around 15 percent from October 1, in response to the government’s decision to raise diesel prices by Rs. 8.00 last Friday. Operators had threatened to pull out their busses from Wednesday, if the government failed to raise fares.

Starting Friday, the minimum bus fare goes up Rs. 0.50 to Rs. 4.00. Fares between Rs. 6.00 and Rs. 27.00 cost a rupee more, while tariffs above Rs. 28.00 go up by about six percent.

Private buses that control over 80 percent of the road mass transport sector in Sri Lanka, were allowed to raise prices by eight percent in September. Minimum fares went up to Rs. 3.50 (from Rs. 3.00), though operators had asked for Rs. 4.00.

Currently there are 18,000 privately owned and 6,000 odd state owned busses plying Sri Lankan roads.