Following the central government’s directive to form a single policy to regulate cab-based aggregators across the country, the state transport department is working on a report in which it will take suggestions and objections of all stakeholders. This report will be submitted to the Centre and will go in making an all-India policy.
But, this also means that its own proposal, the City Taxi Scheme 2015, to bring app-based aggregators like Uber and Ola under the ambit of the Motor Vehicle Act, which could have controlled surge pricing during peak hours may be further delayed. It also means that the agitating taxi and auto unions that see app-based services as a threat will not get a quick resolution to their demands with the ball now in the Centre’s court.
Surge pricing is very common among app-based aggregators during peak hours. Besides, the threat by auto-taxi unions about agitations will also continue until the aggregators, which are eating into their businesses are regulated.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has appointed a 10-member committee to take suggestion and objections for the taxi aggregator policy.
The state transport commissioner, Praveen Gedam, is also part of the committee along with others like the transport commissioners of Delhi, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.
Meanwhile, the union government has also asked the committee to study and review other permits also, like stage carriage, private service vehicles, contract carriage, goods carrier and so on.
“The committee has been formed to prepare a report by taking suggestions and objections on the basis of which the union government will form a single policy for the whole of India. The suggestion proposed in the taxi scheme will also be included in the report and submitted to Union government,” said Gedam, state transport commissioner.
Some of the suggestions from city taxi scheme 2015 that will be given to union government include that aggregators should give details of web portal, app to the state transport department. The aggregator shall maintain a web portal containing all details of its ownership, addresses, services offered, fare structure, insurance liabilities, control room number, name and contact details of a duly-appointed grievance redressal officer.
However, the private taxi drivers offering their services on app-based aggregator platforms have been opposing it as it also required them to change their business model like fixed- fare structure which currently varies according to demand and supply model.
The committee shall formalise the report and submit it by October 31, 2016.