Bhopal: Government moves to regulate tariff of app-based cabs from April

BHOPAL: Clamping down on surge pricing by app-based cab service providers like Ola and Uber, the Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday said cabs cannot charge passengers more than the rates fixed by the government from April. App-based cabs like Uber , Ola or My cabs will be affected by the directive.

Transport Commissioner Madhya Pradesh Shailendra Shrivastava confirmed that the state government is about to adopt Government of India’s policy to regulate app-based cabs. “A final call is yet to be taken as we are in the process formalising the rules. But, it is for sure that from April onwards, no app-based cab, can charge more than what would be fixed by the state government,” he said.

Shrivastava, is also a member of special central government committee of transport officials scrutinizing the matter. He said a meeting was recently held between app-based taxi operators and the committee members at New Delhi in which their proposal was taken.

“We informed all internet-based cab operators about bringing them under government control. They also presented their proposals which is presently being examined and a final call will be taken at the state level,” he added.
Shrivastava informed that state and central policy is being adopted to ensure passengers are not charged more than rates prescribed by Regional Transport Office Bhopal.

“The aim is to fix the lowest fare in such a way that it benefits passengers as well as the private operators. We are just a step away from announcing as certain formalities are still under process,’ the commissioner said.
Asked whether there was any resentment by the cab operators, he said there is no other way, cab owners or operators will mandatorily have to follow the new policy.

There is a tug of war going on between auto-wallahs and app-based cabs. Recently auto drivers went on a two-day strike and warned app cabs to stay off railway stations.
“We will also regulate the fare of local buses, rickshaws in the last week of March. This would be done before adoption of central policy to regulate private taxi aggregators,” said RTO Bhopal Sunil Rai Saxena.
In the past, the MP government has issued certain guidelines and asked app-taxi providers to follow the Motor Vehicles Act. However, this was only regarding issues like taxi permit and time-based fare. This is the first time that an all-encompassing policy for cabs has been worked out.