It seems that ride hailing companies, Uber and Careem, which launched their operations in the major cities of Pakistan last year, have found themselves in trouble with provincial government. Punjab government on Tuesday declared mobile-application cab service providers Careem, Uber, and A-One taxi, as illegal and announced to take strict actions against them.
The notification issued by Punjab Transportation Authority (PTA) stated that ride hailing companies have been using privately owned vehicles illegally for transportation.
The transport authority justified its decision through the following key points.
- The cars being used do not have the fitness certificates
- The ride-hailing companies have not acquired a legal route permit
- The companies are using privately owned cars for commercial purpose
- The services being rendered by the companies in question are posing a security threat to the general public
- The revenue being generated by the companies is causing losses to the government exchequer.
A formal notification in this regard has already been sent out to Lahore’s chief Traffic Officer in a bid to halt the services in the city until further notice. However, it is still not clear if this ban is applicable only in Lahore, or in other cities of Punjab as well.
The notification also mentions that security clearances of drivers are not taken from the authorities. Therefore, order have been passed for strict actions against the ride on-demand services. In any case, it is yet to see whether PTA will lift the ban in near future or the notification marks the end of an era of ride hailing service in Pakistan.
Update: Chairman of the Punjab IT board Umar Saif said the move to ban the ride-hailing companies is being reviewed and no ban has been imposed yet. The Chairman said that the IT board is coming up with a formal policy that will regulate these ride-hailing service in future. The Chairman also mentioned that the new was part of the internal memo that was prematurely made public. Commenting on the issue, also said the Punjab government is looking into the matter and is aiming to tackle the issue with an “Innovative business model”.