Views on 2005 Budget
Trishaw operators: Some happy, for some it’s a joke
Trishaw operators are a happy lot with the government offering them a fuel subsidy, but some of them believe it could lead to queues. The budget also proposes to offer concessional funding for three-wheeler operators who are willing to convert their vehicles to gas.

"For us, it is a very good budget. This government has done something that none of the previous governments has proposed or done", said Sudath Priyantha, Colpetty Three Wheeler Operators Association President, who has operated a three-wheeler for 17 years.

"I followed the budget yesterday and listened to the views of a number of trishaw operators and everyone is very happy. There is nothing to be unhappy about. If we get a subsidy on petrol, the public will also benefit because then the operators won't need to raise their fares. We don't have any favourites when it comes to political parties. We praise governments that do good and criticise governments that do bad. We have no preferred colours", Priyantha said.

"This budget has given no relief. Even though exempted from VAT, what does it matter? It is almost nothing to some who spend lakhs on a three-wheeler. It's only a temporary gain", I. Karunaratna a member of Bambalapitiya Three-wheeler drivers' union said.

"To me the whole budget is a joke. Mr. Amunugama may have drafted it in his dreams. What are the benefits from this budget? You should have second thoughts. The relief card issued on petrol is not practical. It will only create queues and there will be some selling the cards at a higher price. Salaries of government servants will be increased. What about us? Budget does not seem to have thought of us", Mohammed Fazoor, a Three-wheeler driver in Bambalapitiya said.

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