Sri Lanka tuk-tuk drivers refuse to drop fares, demand 30-litre weekly quota

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s All Island Threewheeler Drivers’ Association said it will not reduce taxi fares despite a doubling of the petrol quota issued to tuk-tuks and is demanding a weekly quota of at least 30 litres.

“Fares will not be decreased because the quota is still not enough for hires,” Association chairman Lalith Dharmasena said.

Sri Lanka has been restricting fuel supply due to depleting foreign exchange and has been managing the island’s consumption through a QR code-based quotas system that was initiated in August.

“Even if we got fuel for free we won’t reduce prices. For a week, we need 30 liters if we run an average of 100 kilometres a day,” said Dharmasena.

Transport providers also complain that prices of vehicle spare parts have been skyrocketing, which is why fares have remained stagnant amidst an increase in fuel quotas and decreases in the price of petrol.

However, Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry had announced a removal in the import restrictions against spare parts of vehicles in the foreseeable future.

According to registrations at provincial and divisional secretaries, Power & Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said, there are only 350,000 commercial tuk drivers in the country and a registration process will be initiated to identify these drivers to include them in the QR system.

The increased quota registration will begin on November 01 and other provinces will see an increase in stages, he said. (Colombo/Oct25/2022)

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