Sri Lanka raises bus fares by 19.5% after fuel price hike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s public and private bus fares will rise by an average of 19.5% after the latest fuel price hike from midnight on May 24, an official with the National Transport Commission has said.

“The minimum bus fare will be increased by 19.5% from Rs 27 to Rs 32,” NTC chief executive Nilan Miranda told reporters on Monday (24).

“Along with this, fares for semi-luxury and luxury buses will also increase. Price revisions will be implemented from midnight (24),”

Meanwhile, private bus operators say passengers are getting off and the government should come up with an alternative.

“We can’t raise the price like that. The public can’t take this anymore. All industries are falling,” said Gamunu Wijeratna, president of the private bus owners association.

“The government must make this increase a temporary increase and within a month we are asking the government to give us solutions to reduce the prices,” Wijeratna said.

Sri Lanka is facing the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s loosely pegged central bank. Classical economists have called for limiting the independence of central banks to print money, for establishing a currency board or a clean floating rate so that interventionist economists cannot print money and depreciate the currency in the future.