Tuesday 31 January 2017, the governments of Punjab and Sindh put a ‘hold on’ Careem and Uber ride-hailing services.
The government issued a notification to the Chief Traffic Office (CTO) Lahore and CEO of Lahore Transport Company (LTC). The notification said that the cars registered with Careem and Uber ride-hailing services do not have any permit from any regulatory body.
The Punjab government claimed the ride-hailing activities as ‘illegal’. Such services have a tendency to provoke violence against government laws and also is a threat to the security of the passengers.
According to the government, Uber and Careem ride-hailing services have resulted in a great loss to the government. Any such service is required to have a valid permit and certificates by the regulatory authorities.
According to the government of Sindh, Careem and Uber were required to get an NOC before initiating their services. To control such activities, the government of Sindh has request PTA to block ride-hailing mobile apps.
Talking to The Express Tribune the Secretary of Sindh Transport Tuaha Farooqui said, “When private cars are used as commercial vehicles they have to pay Rs160 annually to the Excise and Taxation department. However, they are not required to change their number plates”.
In response to government’s such notices, MD Careem Pakistan Junaid Iqbal told media,”We are in talks with government institutions to understand where ride-hailing falls in terms of legal guidelines. We aim to work with the government of Pakistan to bring in 100,000 private cars in our service before the end of 2018. Ride-hailing is the new kind of technology and where its legal definition hasn’t yet been addressed”.
Defending and promoting the ride-hailing services, Junaid further told,”Throughout the world, new regulations are being made to define ride-hailing services for example, in India, the parliament is currently discussing the legal ride-hailing guidelines while in Saudi Arabia all private cars are made public for Saudi nationals”.
The government officials and Careem are in the procedure to come to common grounds. Both of the parties foresee a successful conclusion which will help the drivers, the ride-hailing services companies, and also the government of Pakistan.