The Ministerial Consultative Committee on Transport and Highways which met recently agreed to pay the salaries of the employees of Sri Lanka Transport Board for the month of February 2023 without delay as they have been paid in the previous months.
The said agreement was reached at the recently held Ministerial Consultative Committee on Transport and Highways chaired by the Hon. (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardana, Minister of Transport and Highways.
The Minister stated that in the past, the Sri Lanka Transport Board faced the problem of politicization and therefore steps have been taken to solve the problems that have arisen due to not following proper procedures in the recruitment of employees. Accordingly, the Minister stated that further discussions are being held with the National Pay Commission to resolve the issues related to employee salaries.
It was also mentioned that more than 1800 buses, including 400 buses belonging to the Sri Lanka Transport Board, which have become inoperable, are expected to be put into operation this year. The Minister also informed the Committee that the necessary drivers and conductors are expected to be recruited on contract basis. He also mentioned that under the loan scheme of the Indian government, 500 small buses are to be owned and another 100 big buses will be provided next year.
In the meantime, it was also discussed that various road development activities had to be suspended due to lack of sufficient financial allocations. Hon. (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardana stated that all loans for development projects started under foreign loan programs have been suspended and other suspended loan assistance can be obtained if an agreement is reached with the International Monetary Fund regarding the current crisis in the country.
The Committee also agreed to Regulations published in Gazette No. 2031/17 dated 10th October 2022 and Regulations published in Gazette No. 2036/02 dated 14th November 2022 under the Motor Traffic Act.
State Ministers Hon. Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Hon Siripala Gamlath, Hon. Sivanesathurai Santhirakanthan, Hon. D. B. Herath, Hon. Kader Mastan, Hon. A. Aravindh Kumar and Members of Parliament Hon. Ashok Abeysinghe, Hon. Piyankara Jayaratne, Hon. Abdul Haleem, Hon. Chandima Weerakkody, Hon. S. M. M. Muszhaaraff, Hon. U. K. Sumith Udukumbura, Hon. Karunadasa Kodithuwakku, Hon. Udayakantha Gunathilaka, Hon. (Ms.) Kokila Gunawardena, Hon. Milan Jayathilake, Hon. Kulasingam Thileepan, Hon. (Ms.) Muditha Prishanthi, Hon. Wasantha Yapabandara, Hon. Kumarasiri Rathnayaka, Hon. Gunathilaka Rajapaksha, Hon. Upul Mahendra Rajapaksha, Hon. (Ms.) Rajika Wickramasinghe, Hon. Yadamini Gunawardena, Hon. (Ms.) Manjula Dissanayake as well as officials of the Ministry including the Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and officials of the affiliated institutions to the Ministry were present at the Committee meeting held.