RIGA - Latvian Association of Passenger Carriers has sent a letter to Saeima, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity), Cabinet of Ministers, and President Egils Levits, in which the association expresses no confidence in Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party).
The letter, sent on March 25, says that the association no longer trusts the minister due to the Road Transport Administration's procurement of public transport services on regional routes, which was started in July 2019. To date, contracts have been signed under five out of 16 parts of the procurement.
The Passenger Carriers' Association emphasizes in the letter that the Transport Ministry is not engaged in constructive cooperation with the industry and the association's opinion has been disregarded.
The association also points out that public transport services in the regions will cost more than anticipated by the ministry before announcing the procurement.
The association's letter is calling on Saeima to amend the relevant laws and regulations, which at the moment allow government-run companies, the Road Transport Administration in this particular case, to set requirements for providers of services that are of vital importance to residents and to assume long-term liabilities affecting the state budget without the prime minister's approval. The letter also asks the prime minister to demand the transport minister's resignation.
The Cabinet of Ministers, in turn, is being asked to halt the procurement procedure until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, and then announce a new procurement in line with the Law on Public Transport Services.
The procurement of public transport services in the regions, announced by the Road Transport Administration in July 2019, originally stipulated that signing ten-year contracts with public transport companies in the regions would cost EUR 447 million.