Taxi aggregator Ola has welcomed the revised Maharashtra Taxi Rules, 2016 and termed it an “inclusive policy,” but expressed concern not only about the permit fee to be levied on vehicles above 1400 cc, but also making it mandatory for drivers attached to taxi aggregators to have that engine capacity. Calling the Rs.2.64 lakh to be levied on vehicles above 1400 cc “anti-micro entrepreneur,” and “disincentive” for their growth, Joy Bandekar, Corporate President (New Initiative), Ola said, “While buying vehicles, which are mostly financed by financial institutions, drivers did not factor in the clause as there was no such rule then.”
Ola claims that the permit fee would add an extra 30% financial burden on drivers with vehicles above 1400cc and would especially affect those who are just beginning their micro entrepreneurial journey, forcing them to not own a car but just be a driver.
“Drivers are daily wage earners and any increase in input cost would certainly increase their financial burden and they will have no choice but to pass it on to consumers. This will work as a block for economical cab hailing,” said Bandekar.
The organisation, however, hailed the revised draft for ensuring that both kaali-peelis and auto-rickshaws can co-exist along with the aggregator platform, and for giving an opportunity to reap the benefits of new technology.
The Maharashtra government has rolled out a revised draft of the city taxi scheme to regulate taxis as well as aggregators operating in the city.
The draft lays new regulations in terms of work hours, uniform and permit rates which aggregators believe will adversely impact their economic interest and freedom to work.