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Sindh government drafts law to regularise online taxi services

February 14, 2019
Sindh government drafts law to regularise online taxi services

Drivers of the online cab services will be required to get themselves registered

Photo: AFP

The Sindh government has decided to regularise ride-hailing services currently operating in the province. A law has been drafted too. 

The online cab-hailing services will not be allowed to operate without legal cover after the law is approved.

The law requires online tax services to pay tax and get route permit. Their drivers will have to get themselves registered too.

The provincial government’s proposed law will make registration, insurance and route permit compulsory for the taxi services. Only the commercial vehicles will be allowed to get registered with the companies.

People have been earning by using their personal vehicles for the services. No commercial tax currently is currently applicable to them.

The people feel that if the private vehicles are commercialised then they will not be able to avail this opportunity to earn extra money.

The online taxi service providers said the government did not take into account the stakeholders’ recommendations in the proposed law.

“We are willing to acquire route permit and certificate. But there will be problems for us if only commercial vehicles are enroled with us,” said a man working for a service.

The Sindh government took notice of the private taxi services in October last year when a woman jumped from a taxi. She said the driver harassed her.

Related: Sindh govt speed-breakers for Über and Careem, may lead to u-turn on Pakistan’s PayPal dream

In response, Sindh Transport Minister Syed Owais Qadir Shah ordered Careem and Uber to get route permits or “face a ban”— an order that invited a lot of hue and cry from the citizens.

The minister said in a statement that Careem and Uber should have route permits from the provincial government.

He said ride-hailing services signed a memorandum of understanding three years ago but they have not complied with their commitment for the regularisation of their operations.

The minister said that these companies should share vehicle registration information and driver data with the government so they can verify if their documents are complete and the drivers have no criminal record.

In September 2017, London’s transport authority stripped Über of its license over public safety concerns, following complaints that the company was not screening drivers.

 
 
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