App-based autorickshaw operators can charge 10% surcharge: K'taka HC
The Karnataka High court has directed the state government to fix the fare of app-based autorickshaw aggregators within 15 days. Till this happens, the court has allowed service providers to also collect 10 per cent additional charge above the fare already fixed by the government, which was last fixed on June 11, 2021. There is a tiff going on between app-based autorickshaw-hailing service and the state government as they were charging surcharge over and above the fare fixed by the government.
In the court order, Justice MGS Kamal allowed the 10 per cent surcharge along with applicable GST and said this would be a only temporary measure till the new fares are fixed. The aggregators had sought at least 20 per cent surcharge, but the Transport Department was not willing to allow more than 10 per cent.
Last week, the government banned app-based autorickshaw-hailing services because the licence issued under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules was only for cabs and not autorickshaws.
The ANI Technologies Private Limited which operates Ola, Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd and Uber India Systems Private Limited challenged the ban before the court. Last week, Justice Kamal heard the petitions and suggested that the authorities and the companies arrive at a compromise and make a common submission.
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The government has agreed to talk to the aggregators. While the State government argued that autorickshaws are not covered under its rules, the court said the Motor Vehicles Aggregator Guidelines 2020 (MVAG) issued by the Central government covers autorickshaws, e-rickshaw, motorcycles, and buses too. All these vehicles can be used to offer aggregator service, the court said.