THE CASH-STRAPPED Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has proposed to impose a monthly fee of Rs 1,000 on vehicles of food delivery companies like Zomato, Uber Eats, Pizza Hut, Domino’s etc. The reason: their delivery boys advertise the company’s name on their T-shirts.
The proposal is a part of an agenda that will be presented at the House Meeting on February 4. The suggestion was submitted by the tehbazaari wing of Ludhiana MC under the title ‘Suggestions to Improve Financial Status of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’. Councillors led by Congress Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu will decide if it should be passed.
‘’There are several food delivery services functioning in Ludhiana MC limits, including Zomato, Uber Eats, Pizza Hut and Domino’s, among others. These companies run their two-wheelers across the city and their employees (delivery boys) wear T-shirts with the name of the company, which leads to advertisement of these companies. We must contact these companies, procure the list of their employees and charge Rs 1,000 a month per two-wheeler…,’’ reads the proposal.
The proposal, however, does not clarify if charges of Rs 1,000 a month per vehicle will be taken from the employees or the companies. Clarifying on it, Kanwalpreet Kaur, commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, said the proposal is to charge the companies and not delivery boys. “We will take these charges from the companies, not delivery boys,” she said.
Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu from the Congress, however, said, “We generally call for suggestions from all departments to increase MC’s income but this suggestion to charge food delivery companies is wrong. I will voice my opinion against this at the house meeting. Final decision will be taken by all councillors but I am against it.”
JS Sekhon, head of tehbazaari wing of Ludhiana MC, who proposed the idea, said, “Delivery boys are paid poorly and we are not going to charge them. The proposal is to charge the food delivery companies who are advertising themselves and getting free publicity. We can stop their vehicles if they fail to pay these charges.”
A delivery boy, said on condition of anonymity that they would oppose strongly if charges are taken from them. ‘’The vehicle is ours, fuel charges are ours and all that we get is payment per order. We are paid just Rs 30 per order and companies don’t even pay us incentives unless we complete 11 orders in a day. We don’t get monthly salaries and how can the MC charge us,’’ he said.
Parminder Mehta, vice-president of BJP Ludhiana unit, said BJP councillors will oppose the move strongly in the house meeting. “We will not allow the Congress government to burden delivery boys who are already underpaid. On one hand, the government is hailing schemes like Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar (AGAR) and Ghar Ghar Rozgar, and on the other hand, it is planning to burden delivery boys who work hard but not get paid enough,” said Mehta.
The 95-member Ludhiana MC House is led by the Congress with 62 councillors while the ally of SAD and BJP is in opposition with 11 and 10 councillors respectively. Seven are from Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) and one is from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), while there are 4 independents.