The fate of Uber and Careem in Punjab is still undecided as Umar Saif, Chairman of the Punjab IT Board reveals that the decision is being reviewed at the moment
Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee over the issue of Uber and Careem which will present the CM with the report on its findings.
Dawn reports that according to Umar Saif, the decision is being reviewed by the government. Answering the question whether the car-hailing companies would be banned in Punjab, he responded:
“We are coming up with a formal policy. This letter was an internal memo and has prematurely been made public.”
He also revealed the government is tackling the issue by bringing forward an innovative business model. He said that the government could treat such companies by either treating them as companies or as a service that the government can regulate, and they don’t want to treat them as a taxi.
Umar Saif talking about the new plan shared that it will be formed around the taxation model like that of Malaysia, Egypt, and Indonesia where they are treated as network service providers.
Earlier today, Careem, Uber, and A-One were declared illegal in Punjab and were banned in response to operating without registering the private cars with any regulatory body and not obtaining fitness certificates/ route.
Similar action was initiated in Sindh, where the provincial government is seeking to pursue legal action against the mobile application based taxi services.
According to an official source, the representatives of Careem and Uber were informed to comply with Punjab Motor Vehicle Rules, but the companies never paid any attention.
Official Response of Careem
Junaid Iqbal, MD Careem officially responded to the ban on car-hailing service on Facebook and Twitter through live video. He thanked the Careem users who supported the company today and also appreciated the efforts of its captains and the media.
He explained that the mobile application of Careem is made by the talented people of Pakistan and they aim to create 100,000 jobs by the end of 2018. He termed unemployment as the root of problems in Pakistan and the car-sharing service helps Pakistanis earn money.
Junaid said the concept of ride-sharing is new and there are no such regulations in the country. Other countries have introduced new legislations, and the same should be done in Pakistan. He gave examples of Malaysia, Saudi Arabia where new laws have been introduced. He also stated that the concept of track based transport system has existed in Europe for decades,
He emphasized on the fact that ride-hailing can play an important role in reducing the traffic burden on our streets. He argued that Careem is only a platform bringing the ride hailer and the ride provider together, and questioned that if tomorrow Careem launches doctors on demand service will the government want Careem to register as a hospital.
Junaid in his closing remarks urged the governments of Sindh and Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the respective chief ministers to embrace the new concept of ride-sharing services as it will lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs.