Bali Bus Operators in Existential Struggle

NusaBali reports that Bali’s transportation companies are appealing through the Bali Tourism Transportation Association (DPD Pawiba-Bali) and the Bali Branch of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin-Bali) for government relief. The Island’s transportation operators are finding that they are increasingly unable to meet their debt obligations to financial institutions.

A delegation of Pawiba-Bali visited the Secretariat of Kadin-Bali to make their case on Monday, 01 March 2021.

The Transportation Association asked for KADIN-Bali to associate with their cause and help bring Pawiba-Bali’s predicament to the relevant organizations and business entities to obtain permission to delay coming loan repayments for at least six months. 

The transportation workers complain they are under intense pressure to pay credit notes to financial institutions. The current depressed state of the tourism industry in Bali has caused many transport operators to cease operations. In turn, the cash flows that permit the payment of operating expenses and loans have stopped as transport vehicles sit idle.

The chairman of Pawiba-Bali, Nyoman Sudiartha, clarified to the press that the problem is not that the transportation companies do not want to pay their debts. The dilemma is that current business conditions do not permit the payment of loans. He added that this situation would not change for at least six months to come.

To underline his point, Sudiartha clarified that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of Pawiba-Bali generally managed to pay their loans on a timely basis. But, the sudden collapse of the tourism economy has robbed transportation companies of their cash flows. 

In paying a call on the KADIN Secretariat, the Pawiba-Bali members arrived for the meeting in three tourist busses. 

Transportation operators are complaining that while hotels and restaurants have received tax and other supports from the Central government, the transportation sector has been largely ignored and left without assistance. 

During the KADIN meeting, some operators complained that lenders had seized some busses and other transport due to non-payment of loans. Sudiartha sounded the warning that if support is not given to transportation operators, the local transportation sector’s existence is at risk of being overwhelmed by transportation operators from other Indonesian provinces.

Responding to the visit by transportation operators, the Deputy-Chairman of KADIN-Bali for Law and Advocacy, Jupiter C. Lalwany, assured Pawiba-Bali that he would forward their pleadings to associated government agencies and stakeholders.

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