The government and transport operators have reached an agreement to defer the implementation of the 16% fare increase due April 1.

The decision was made on Thursday following a meeting between government officials and stakeholders in the transport sector to discuss the impending increase.

The meeting included Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, Transport Minister, Daryl Vaz, the Transport Authority and members of the Transport Operators Steering Committee.

In asking the sector for a deferral of the 16% rate increase, Dr. Clarke cited the need to maintain inflation in single digits in order to keep the economy on course.

He also acknowledged the hardships faced by the sector and what a fare increase would mean for their operations.

However, Dr. Clarke noted that the transportation sector has one of the largest impacts on inflation.

For his part, Minister Vaz commended the operators for accepting the deferral and gave his commitment to continue to working with the operators to identify and agree on other incentives.

Minister Vaz mandated the Transport Operators Steering Committee to meet and design a comprehensive transportation incentive framework which would include measures that would have less adverse impact on inflation.