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Non-regular bus operators ask for government assistance amid Covid-19 crisis


The Thai Transportation Operators Association has sent a proposal to the government, seeking assistance for operators of non-regular buses who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and have not received any direct help from the government.

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The association president, Wasuchet Sophonsathien, said on Friday that a proposal had been submitted to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on February 9 through Disthat Hotrakit, secretary-general of the Prime Minister's Office.

The association has proposed three main approaches.

The first approach is to help reduce expenses by the state paying salaries to employees up to 50 per cent of the ceiling of Bt15,000, or Bt7,500 per person for three months, covering approximately 50,000 people, including exemption from annual tax as well as overdue fines of cars and establishments.

The second approach suggests "liquidity enhancement" with the government providing assistance for 40,000 non-regular buses at Bt5,000 per vehicle for three months, or Bt15,000 per vehicle, totalling Bt600 million. A fund should also be set up to improve vehicle condition at Bt300,000 per vehicle, using the plate registration as a guarantee;

The government has also been urged to help the operators generate revenue by promoting travel by government officers since the travel budget is currently being cut by various agencies.

The association also requested the hiring of buses of non-regular operators throughout the country, 100 vehicles per province, taking people to travel across the province to stimulate tourism and generate income for each area. If 4,000 people travel to each province, the whole country will have 300,000 travellers, generating more than Bt300 million from a support of only Bt76 million, the association said.

Published : February 12, 2021

By : The Nation