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Thu, 17 January 2019 04:57:32
Sri Lanka state bus utility loses Rs3.5bn in 2013
10 Apr, 2014 10:49:46
Apr 10, 2014 (LBO) - State-run Sri Lanka Transport Board has lost 3.5 billion rupees in 2013 slightly down from 3.8 billion rupees a year earlier, official data showed.
The annual report of the Central Bank said SLTB earned 30.1 billion rupees in revenues and but had spent 33.7 billion rupees, generating an operating loss of 3,511 million rupees.

Operated kilometres rose to 1.8 percent to 344 million.

Various factions of Sri Lanka's elected ruling class have stuffed SLTB with their supporters generating losses in the heavily unionized utility which have been covered at the expense of the tax payer.

The total number of buses owned by the SLTB had fallen from 7,607 in 2013 from 7,756 in 2012.

The Central Bank said the losses of SLTB was mainly attributed to weaknesses in efficiency which needed to be corrected but it also operated some routes which were not profitable due to socio-economic importance.

In 2013, 1,641 buses had been refurbished and 50 luxury buses imported for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at tax payer cost had been handed over to SLTB to run on expressways.

A controversy brewed recently after the state kept buses operated by private citizens out of the expressways, leading to protests by operators.

The bus transport has a long history of pitting ordinary citizens against the elected ruling class and the coercive powers of the state.

Bus transport was one of the first areas where the elected ruling class violated the property rights of citizens and expropriated their assets soon after gaining self-determination from British rule, killing an incorporated industry and entrepreneurship.

For decades it was a state monopoly until private operators were allowed in around the late 1970s.

But the private bus transport is fragmented and with only a few large companies and its quality of service and safety have come under question.

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7. Jayan Apr 12
The CTB is also running in dense city areas where it can make profits, which can be easily used to cross-subsidize any 'unprofitable' areas if any.

Unlike ordinary people who are bus operators have to buy their buses paying high lease rates (lease rates are high because the government is deficit spending in the first place) the CTB get buses at the expense of ordinary people through their taxes.

On top of getting rolling stock free at our expense the CTB is running operational losses. If a private operator is give a free bus also at tax payer expense he will be happy to run 'unprofitable' routes.

The CTB is unionized and overstaffed that is why it is making losess. In 2012 CTB's fuel cost was 11 bn rupees. Staff cost was 13 billion rupees.

When will our people realize that we are being had?

6. PB Apr 12
@ fb :
nice to see someone who has a positive approach. great idea about licensing a route.

@ Sisira Siribaddana :
Before the period of SWRD Bandaranayake, the public transport system was operated by owners like Ebert Silva. The state run transport system was a massive drain on the country's resources. Its also because the state run system was not good enough that private operators had to come and fill the gap.

5. Passenger Apr 11
Don't take this as a loses. SLTB provides a good service for Rural areas. The case is all profitable routs are taken over by the private bus mafia
4. SUGA Apr 11
ග්‍රාමීය සේවා, රාත්‍රී සේවා , පාසැල් සේවා වැනි පාඩු ලබන නමුත් මහජන යහපත වෙනුවෙන් සේවා පවත්වාගෙන යන ලංගම වෙනුවෙන් රජයේ දායකත්වය (අරමුදල් ලබාදීම) තව වැඩි කල යුතුයි. ලංගම ලබාදෙන සේවා හා සැසදීමේදී මෙම මුදල පාඩුවක් ලෙස සැලකිය යුතු නොවේ. පුද්ගලික බස් වලින් මගී අපට වන ගැහැට පොඩ්ඩක් හෝ අඩුවෙන්නේ ලංගම නිසයි.
3. fb Apr 11
The problem is unlike the companies that were expropriated by the state which were technically competent in running bus routes, the small operators have a myopic view, though of course they are more cost-efficient and not a burden on the poor through tax-spending.

The market can still be made to operate by creating a secondary market in route licenses. These can be bought by successful operators, who can then be given a route.

The small operators are like a mafia themselves now. But a few large bus companies have sprung up.

2. PB Apr 11
The ideal situation would have been where private companies had been made to operate the routes with better regularisation by the govt.

Privately managed enterprises in Sri Lanka(and even most parts of the world) is better managed than state enterprises. For all the losses that these govt institutions make, its the people of Sri Lanka who pay taxes (directly and indirectly) that pay for these losses and not the politicians who make a big song and dance.

1. Sisira Siribaddana Apr 11
The worst thing that happened to Sri Lanka was privatising of the transport services. Before that the state run transport services provide excellent transport service