All is not 'fare' with taxi operators

All is not 'fare' with taxi operators

Members of the Bangalore Tourist Taxi Operators’ Associations (BTTOA), Adarsha Auto Union and others, under the aegis of the Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Agents’ Associations, met in the City on Wednesday.

The meeting sought to put an end to the ongoing fare war between the various taxi operators. After the meeting, they met the officials of the Transport department seeking their intervention in the matter.

The members said if the government failed to safeguard their interests, they would hold a token strike on November 15, followed by a daylong strike on November 20.

In a memorandum to the Transport department, the members alleged that in the recent past, new start-ups in the City were offering services by holding both State and All India permits under lease, which was a violation.

Contrary to the Motor Vehicles’ Act, 1988, the new taxi operators were engaged in changing the fare per km, reducing the minimum fare, etc. For example, the new entrants were charging Rs 49 per 4 km, Rs 53 per 5 km and Rs 13 for 10 km, which was illegal. The new taxi service providers were spoiling the travel industry by controlling prices and creating unhealthy competition. Most of the taxi operators kept changing the basic fares fixed by the government.

In order to prevent unhealthy competition, The Competition Act was introduced on October 14, 2003. It says, “It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets.”

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