PUBLIC transporters are observing nationwide strike against tax increases including token and toll, leaving thousands of passengers stranded across the country.
The transport owners said that the government had increased the tax from Rs 300 to Rs 4,000 and Rs 8,000 and under these circumstances it is not possible to operate public transport after the heavy taxation.
Unfortunately, these transporters and traders have also become powerful mafia and whenever the government tries to impose taxes on them, they resort to strike as a pressure tactic since their closure adversely affects the routine life of common man.
The fact of the matter is that there is no check on transporters and they fleece the commuters at their own free will.
Undoubtedly, there has been increase in petroleum products in recent months but the way transporters have enormously raised the fares on local and long routes is really unjustified.
Then it has also been seen that when the petroleum prices are brought down, the fares do not come down.
The regional transport authorities need to be fully activated to protect the interests of commuters.
As regards the wheel jam strike of transporters, the government should sit down with its association to address their genuine concerns.
The growth of public transport with more companies investing in it clearly suggests that the sector is minting huge money.
Whilst we really welcome its growth as it provides job opportunities to the people but it is also their responsibility to pay the taxes without raising eyebrows.
If toll tax has been increased then they must realize that it will be spent on the construction and rehabilitation of road infrastructure which will ultimately benefit them.
Whilst the present government has initiated blue, orange and green line transport system in Islamabad which is benefiting a large number of commuters, the same model should also be replicated in other big cities.
At the same time, the government must focus on upgradation and improvement of services in Pakistan Railways so that the people have a viable and inexpensive alternative at hand for travel to distant areas.