Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Raya travel plans at risk

(TheStar) - Express bus operators may not sell tickets in advance for the Hari Raya break in October, as they are still not receiving the full amount of subsidised diesel that they need daily.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said the promise made by the Government in June was not being implemented.

"When they asked for the full quota of subsidised diesel, they get responses such as the ministry (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry) had not received instructions from the Finance Ministry."

Ashfar said the latest excuse was that it would take three months before the full quota could be given through the fleet card system.

The fleet card system entitles bus operators to buy diesel at RM1.43 a litre. The current diesel price is RM2.58. Bus operators now receive about 70% of their daily quota at a subsidised price.
Ashfar said more problems would arise if the bus operators went ahead and sold tickets in advance without knowing when they would start receiving the full quota of subsidised diesel.
"If we are forced to stop operating because we cannot absorb the costs in the next three months, then both the passengers and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board can take action against us for selling tickets but not operating," Ashfar said.

Ashfar added that the association did not want the situation to reach that stage, and urged the ministry to help the industry.

In Johor Baru, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said he would have to refer to ministry officials over the issue.

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