No immediate ban on Uber, Careem in Punjab, confirms Umar Saif


The Punjab Transport Authority and all other related departments have been directed by the government not to implement the notification vis-à-vis harnessing the illegal cab services including Uber, Careem and A-One.

In a meeting on Tuesday, members of the CM office, handling the issue, decided to set up a committee for evolving a fresh regulatory and taxation mechanism for dealing with all such operators. Till that time all the operators have been advised to carry on with their usual business, implying, the Punjab government has not banned the operation of all these companies.

Advisor to CM, Umar Saif, who is also Chairman of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), confirmed there was no immediate ban clamped on these operators.

He added that the government looked at the positive side of this huge facility with people getting jobs and public enjoying affordable and comfortable rides.

A notification issued by Punjab Provincial Transport Authority (PPTA) on Jan. 27 reads, “It has been observed with grave concern that some companies including Careem, Uber, and A-One etc. are offering Cab Services through mobile network technology without registering the private cars with any regulatory body and without obtaining fitness certificate/route permits of these cars causing great loss to the Govt. Exchequer and also a security threat to the general public travelling through these cars.”

Earlier, the notification went viral on social media inviting strong criticism from the general public and the ‘partners’ of these cab services.

PPTA Secretary Chaudhary Muhammad Iqbal said that the department does not want to ban these cab services, rather bring them into the legal network and actions against the cars without route permits are underway.

The secretary also said it was necessary for the owners of the cars to obtain fitness certificates for their vehicles and route permits before these can be used as cabs. Private cars must be treated as commercial if they charge for transporting people and added if they operate without fitness certificates and route permits they would be challenged.

He further said PPTA contacted Uber, Careem and A-One and asked them to comply with the required conditions but they were allegedly lingering the matter on lame excuses.

Meanwhile, the Excise and Taxation (E&T) Punjab has sought vehicular data from all the private online cab services operating in the provincial metropolis.