It seems that the troubles of cab aggregators services in India are never ending as they’ve once again come under scrutiny from the government agencies. And this time, Delhi Govt. led by the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) has announced that online ride-hailing services like Ola and Uber will be barred from charging tariffs beyond an upper ceiling set by them.
Delhi is now following in the footsteps of Karnataka, who had earlier laid out a set of rules and regulations for these cab aggregators to follow. Transport Minister Satyendar Jain has confirmed to ET that the Delhi Govt. has also drafted a new set of policies that are likely to be made available in a couple of days. It will be put up in the public domain for consultation, following which it would be sent out to the LG for approval.
In the briefing, Jain shed some light on how the tariff charges will be regulated saying,
We have said meters should be there. Tariff will be what government fixes, though it will be dynamic. They [cab aggregators] won’t be able to impose surge pricing.
This is so very true as the Road Ministry had first complained then denied the same a couple weeks ago. In their pleas, they had added that the cab aggregators were violating the law by measuring distance through GPS, while the Motor Vehicles Act clearly says that they have to go by the taxi meter. They believe that the fare calculated hrough GPS is inaccurate and the black-and-yellow taxi rate card is better for consumers.
Jain said the Delhi High Court has recently also the government to release policies scrutinizing the unfair operational behaviour of these cab aggregators. He further confirms the introduction of a price band on tariff stating that there will be no regulation on the lower bar of the tariff, but setting the upper bar would automatically set limits on how low these aggregators can charge for their rides. He also says that the maximum tariff would be differential and depend on the type of vehicle being used.
It is not the first time though that these cab aggregators are facing such situations. They have repeatedly come under objection of authorities for various issues including proper licensing, surge pricing, predatory pricing, use of diesel cabs in Delhi, etc. However, they have maintained their stand to work with authorities to resolve these issues, but their business is struggling amid all this chaos.