President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association Gemunu Wijeratne yesterday said that he had lodged a complaint with the IGPs office yesterday morning that he had received death threats from a henchman of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, asking him not to interfere with the operation of buses on the Southern Expressway utilising temporary route permits.
Wijeratne said: “The government incurrs a loss Rs.100 million per year as a result of issuance of temporary permits where a bus operator pays only Rs. 2,500 a day.”
He charged that the National Transport Commission called for tenders to issue 130 permits but it was annulled soon after to pave the way for racketeers to operate at will by paying only Rs.2,500 a day where as they have to pay the state Rs.750,000 a month if they obtain a full permit.
The Chairman LPBOA accused the National Transport Commission and relevant authorities of giving into this ‘mafia’ run by the henchmen of the former President.