The Ola Uber Drivers and Owners’ Association (OUDOA) and the autorickshaw drivers linked with the ride-hailing companies are apprehensive about the five per cent convenience fee and Goods and Services Tax levied on every autorickshaw ride taken up by passengers.
The Karnataka government on November 25 directed the regional transport authorities to charge five per cent convenience fee and GST from the ride hailing companies on each autorickshaw ride by the passengers.
OUDOA president Tanveer Pasha blamed the state government for not presenting the case properly before the Karnataka High Court.
The government should have brought an amendment to the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators’ Rules because there is no provision for autorickshaw in it, Pasha told PTI.
“If they (transport department) had given proper information to the court, then the court would have directed the government to bring an amendment to the rule,” he said.
Pasha also alleged that the transport department did not take on board the Regional Transport Authority, Bengaluru Urban district, whose chairman is the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district while passing the direction.
In the existing scheme of things, the charge for every kilometre while riding an autorickshaw is Rs 15. Adding the five per cent convenience fee with GST on per kilometre ride in Bengaluru would cost about 80 paise, Pasha was apprehensive that the aggregators may find ways to increase it.
The minimum charge fixed by the government for autorickshaw rides is Rs 30 and the per kilometre fare above that is Rs 15.
Thimmappa, an autorickshaw driver, said the fixed fares on the face of it do not appear to be exorbitant but it is difficult to predict how these companies would charge people.
“These Ola-Uber companies were charging exorbitantly due to which the government had to intervene. We don’t know how they will use this latest order to burn a hole in the pockets,” Thimmappa said.
Venkatesh N, another autorickshaw driver, said only time will tell how the rates will be fixed on each ride and how people are charged.
A public relations team member of Ola Cabs declined to comment on the five per cent convenience fee.