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31.3.16

BUSES PERMIT RACKET SCHEME * Sri Lanka: * District Secretariats allow swindle

* Colombo - National Transport Commission accused of allowing whim

... It is the NTC and the Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authority in each provincial council in the country that issue passenger transport permits for all private buses. According to the National Transport Commission Act No: 37 of 1991, tenders have to be called to issue new passenger service permits and the permits are given to the highest bidders. However, in the Northern Province, tenders are not called but the permits are given by the respective district secretaries to known parties... According to a private bus owner in Mannar who wished to remain anonymous, bus owners in the Northern Province get the annual permit for Rs. 3,500 but added that they have to pay a bribe to officials involved which comes close to the monthly permit charge in other provinces... “Officially we pay Rs. 3,500 but unofficially we have to bribe them,” the Mannar bus owner said... The five Northern Province District Secretaries in Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi, Mannar and Vavuniya issue the route permits with out calling for tenders violating the National Transport Commission Act according to their own whims and fancies. It has also been revealed that certain district secretaries and the respective police divisions have allowed certain private buses to operate within the province without having any route permit... "We have not given them any authority to use our logo when issuing permits. If they have done so we can take action against them,” Chairman of the National Transport Commission’s (NTC), M.A.B. Hemachandra, said... 
Ratmalana, Sri Lanka - The Sunday Leader, by Nirmala Kannangara - 31 March 2016

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