FCCC to oversee PSV fares

Picture: FILE.

THE Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission will now be responsible for the fixing and declaration of fares or charges for the use of public service vehicles.

This, after Parliament passed the Land Transport Amendment Bill 2019 yesterday.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Act was promulgated in 1998 to among other things establish the Land Transport Authority.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said establishing a fare structure for public service vehicles was a complex exercise and took into account various factors including the ever-fluctuating price of fuel and inflation.

He said to conduct a fair, comprehensive and regular fare review required the expertise of a variety of fields including economics, market regulation, financial systems and auditing of accounts.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the LTA did not have the capacity or expertise to comprehensively undertake this exercise.

He added that LTA was more focused on land transport regulations.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Act would also reduce the current high risk of bus operation disruptions.

Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula, while opposing the Bill, said the absence of consultation meant the public were being denied their views.

“The FCCC who is usually the regulator, becomes the licensee, if the bus companies want to complain about the issues of buses and fares who do they go to now?” he asked.

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