New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) The Centre is reviewing the predatory surge pricing of cab aggregators Uber and Ola after it received a complaint from RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch.
Minister for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari has forwarded the detailed complaint to a Joint Secretary-level officer of the ministry to review the practice. In a letter accessed by IANS, which is written to Ashwani Mahajan, the face of the RSS offshoot that complained to Gadkari, the minister’s office informed him that an official is seized of the matter “for taking necessary action”.
Earlier, the SJM demanded regulation of surge pricing limits for taxi aggregators under Motor Vehicles Act 2019. SJM’s Mahajan wrote, “It has been observed that the taxi aggregators, Uber and Ola who started activities in India in 2014-15 to provide lower cost and convenient taxi services, have started profiteering under the ambit of surge pricing. Just in the last two weeks, we received screenshots where a fare of Rs 2,000 was quoted in Mumbai for a 6-minute ride. This is outrageous and plain profiteering by these platforms.”
Citing a recently released public survey, Mahajan had claimed that consumers from across the country are facing “issues” with app-based taxi services like Uber and Ola.
Quoting from the survey, he claimed people want surge pricing to be capped at not higher than 25 per cent across the country. He also demanded, in case of ride cancellation by the taxi app company or the driver, Rs 100 or an amount equivalent to 20 per cent of the fare should be credited in the customer’s account as a penalty.
A copy of the letter which forced the government to review the surge pricing practice, was also marked to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister. Swadeshi Jagaran Manch had questioned and even protested against many government policies in the past.