President moots proposals to transform SLTB to profitability


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has mooted a set of proposals to transform Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) into a profit-earning and leading entity, the Presidential Media Division says.

The President is of the view that SLTB could be turned into a state organization that can contribute to the national coffers instead of seeking funds from it.

The President made these comments during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday (21) to review the current status of SLTB.

There is heavy traffic congestion on roads during morning and evening hours of weekdays.

The President highlighted the need for attracting those who are traveling to work in their own vehicles to the public transport system. As a remedy to ease the traffic congestion, the President proposed to implement Park and Drive method. He proposed to add buses with required facilities to the existing fleet.

A dedicated school bus service for children should be promoted while giving priority to the safety of children, the President said. It was discussed to paint the school busses in yellow and give preference to school buses on roads. President Rajapaksa emphasized the importance of colour coding for private and SLTB buses.

Appropriate measures to encourage employees, new strategies, minimise waste and put an end to corruption were also discussed at the meeting. In addition, the President highlighted the need for conducting regular assessments and research with regard to the improvement of the institution.

The President said that around 4,500 highly-skilled mechanics were working for the SLTB and their expertise could be utilised for outside maintenance work thereby earning an additional income for the government. The President pointed out that the SLTB possessed unutilized land across the country and proper management of them could generate more revenue.

The SLTB was capable of transporting agricultural produce from remote areas to the suburbs benefitting both farmers and the consumers equally. He went on to note the significance of improving the standards of training schools and enhancing the knowledge of the employees at training schools simultaneously. President Rajapaksa advised the entire process should move forward with short, mid and long term strategies in place.

Secretary to the President, P.B Jayasundera, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Transport Board, Kingsley Ranawaka, CEO, Sagara Heman Waduge, Director General (Public Enterprises), Athula Kumara, including several other Director Board members were present at the meeting.

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