After Punjab, Sindh govt also seeks legal action against Uber, Careem

KARACHI: A day after the Punjab government declared the services of mobile-application taxi service providers Careem, Uber and A-One as illegal, the Sindh government on Tuesday also sought legal action against these companies.

After Punjab, Sindh govt also seeks legal action against Uber, Careem

After Punjab, Sindh govt also seeks legal action against Uber, Careem

The Sindh government has declared the use of private cars as taxis without the mandatory legal permits as “illegal” and has contacted PTA as it seeks to block Careem’s mobile app.

Secretary Transport said in a statement that he wrote five letters to Careem management as a warning but received no reply.

The provincial government has also initiated action against Uber to bring the app within ‘official compliance’.

According to the Secretary Transport, private cars would need to be made commercial in order to be used as taxis.

Owners of the cars would be required to obtain fitness certificates for the cars. Route permits would be needed before the cars can be used as taxis, he added.

In a notification issued by the Punjab Transport Authority earlier, it said that as the aforementioned companies are ‘illegally’ using private cars for services the provincial government is facing huge financial losses. The notification added that cars are being used as taxis without the mandatory car-fitness certificates and route permits.

The notification further mentioned that as security clearances of drivers are also not obtained from concerned authorities, orders have been issued for strict action against the aforementioned companies.

Regulatory tussles around the world

Mobile-app taxi service providers and ride-sharing companies like Uber and Careem have in the past faced regulatory opposition in various countries they operate in, prompting new legislations by government authorities.

In India, for instance, Uber was banned in 2014 by transport authorities in Hyderabad for not holding a license to operate in the city. In another state Karnataka, authorities sought a ban on unregistered and unlicensed cab services.

In Malaysia, authorities cracked down against ride-sharing apps for offering ‘illegal’ taxi services.

In New Zealand, a number of vehicles operated by such apps were stopped in 2015 as they “did not fit the legal definition of a ‘private hire service,’” as the authorities put it.

In 2015, South Africa impounded a number of vehicles of Uber claiming the service was operating without suitable permits.

Last year, both Uber and Careem temporarily halted their services in Abu Dhabi. Sources within the companies said many of the drivers were being stopped by authorities ‘apparently over licensing issues’.

In most such cases, the ride-sharing apps complied with the legislations and continued operating without any further roadblocks.

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