Bus owners to take final call on resumption of services

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Bhubaneswar: There is a likelihood that private buses will ply from May 28, but the state bus owners’ association will take a call on the matter soon.

General Secretary of the State bus owners’ association, Barada Prasanna Acharya said a final decision on the running of buses will be taken soon. He said that the OPBOA’s general body meeting is scheduled for tomorrow and a final decision over plying of buses will be taken in the meeting.

Meanwhile, transport Minister Padmanabha Behera is hopeful that his talks with owners will bear fruit, and buses will soon ply in the state.

The State government had suspended the intra-state bus services in the third week of March due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Acharya told reporters during a meeting with the Transport Department on Tuesday that the bus owners’ association was informed that a letter was written to the Finance Department for waiver of taxes of bus owners.

The private bus owners are not ready to operate intra-state buses after the government’s permission on May 24 fearing that they might be asked to pay taxes for the month of May.

Acharya said Transport Minister has assured the bus owners that the government will waive taxes for April, May, and June after a clearance from the Finance Department.

As many as 14,000 private buses are being run in the State by 8,000 bus owners.

Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said the discussion was held amicably. The State government has agreed to waive road tax for the months of April, May, and June. The government will write to the Centre for waiving the bank loans of private bus owners.

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