Delhi government to regulate Ola, Uber fares
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

The Delhi government will soon launch a City Taxi Scheme 2017 which will see online taxi aggregators Uber and Ola put a cap on their minimum and maximum fares, a national daily reported.

The ride-hailing taxi operators in the capital will charge customers “in between minimum and maximum fares set by the government,” a report in DNA stated, quoting transport minister Kailash Gahlot.

The proposed regulation is an attempt to bring all the taxis operating in the region under a uniform rule, the newspaper said.

The minister said the draft is being prepared and the government is holding talks with the different stakeholders to finalise the terms before publishing it.

The new scheme will define uniform regulations regarding fares, benefits and terms of services for all the taxis, the report said. Besides, the transport department will start tracking taxis attached to online aggregators from its control room. Currently, the department tracks all the public transport vehicle in the capital.

Last year, the Karnataka government had intervened to put a cap on cab fares. In October last year, the Karnataka High Court had upheld the state government’s decision to ban surge pricing by Ola and Uber. The state had stipulated a rate of Rs 19.50 per km, as the upper limit. Uber had challenged this in the court and the Karnataka HC had observed that the state government was well within its right to frame rules under the sections of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Karnataka government had notified in April 2016 that cab-hailing firms should get a permit before operating in the state, to comply with the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule, 2016.

The state governments’ decision to cap pricing can lead to a policy tussle with the centre as in December 2016, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways submitted guidelines to the Delhi HC, recommending that taxi operators be allowed to hike prices during peak hours. “The committee strongly recommends to avoid unreasonable restrictions that will make taxi operations economically unviable,” a committee appointed by the ministry said in its report to the court.

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