Punjab Government has drafted a new policy in an effort to regulate Uber, Careem and other ride hailing services, according to a report by Express Tribune.
Not just in Pakistan but ride hailing services have been struggling all over the world in finding their legal footing. The situation has been slightly worse in Pakistan considering security situation. Earlier this year, the ride hailing services were declared illegal and suspended in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for a short period of time.
In an effort to regulate the ride hailing services, Punjab IT Board, transport and excise departments have brought forward a new policy under which the owners will have to get their vehicles commercially registered with the government and will be liable to pay commercial motor tax. Under the current tax rates, the cars ranging from 600cc to 1300cc will have to pay Rs 700 to Rs 1200 per year as commercial motor tax. It is currently unknown that the whether the current rates will apply to ride hailing services or new rates are being devised. The policy has already been approved by Punjab Government.
While the current rate of commercial motor taxes are minimal, we are still likely to see a price jump in fares of Uber and Careem as even the optic of government putting taxes of such services will be reason enough to bump up the prices.
We have reached out to Careem and Uber for a comment on this.