BNP on Sunday extended its support to the students demanding half bus fare for them, and urged the government to take steps to meet their demand.
“We extend our full support to the demand of the students. We demand that steps be taken to provide them with half passes by reducing the fare. The government can provide subsidy, if necessary, in this regard,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a rally.
Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal arranged the progarmme in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s treatment abroad.
The BNP leader said the students have been staging demonstrations demanding 50 per cent discount in public transport as the costs of their studies have gone up.
Besides, he said the poor and lower-income families are facing serious difficulties to cope with the growing price hike of all essentials, including rice, oil, pulses and salt and education materials like books and pens for their children.
He said the government has deepened public sufferings by increasing the bus fare. “This anti-people government raised the diesel and kerosene prices by 15 per cent…transport owners and workers had gone on a strike immediately demanding a hike in transport fares and the government increased that.”
The BNP leader alleged the prices of fuel and the transport fares have been hiked in the interest of Awami League’s ‘corrupt syndicates’ who make their pockets heavier with public money.
“The government is now saying it has reduced the fares of BRTC-run buses, but it can’t do the same regarding the private buses. When you can control private business and all other things, why can’t you reduce the bus fares for our students?” he said.
He said the government needs to take steps for reducing fares of private buses even by giving Tk 2,000-3,000 crore subsidy to facilitate the students in pursuing their studies.