The Punjab government is set to ease requirements for the issuance of taxi licences after it emerged that most Yellow Cab Scheme applicants do not meet the requirements, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The provincial government has allocated Rs4.5 billion in the 2011-12 budget for the Yellow Cab Scheme, which offers subsidies on taxis to young people looking for work.
According to Rule 6 of the Motor Vehicle Rules 1969, drivers of public transport vehicles require a Public Service Vehicles (PSV) licence. Under Sub Rule 4, a person applying for a PSV licence must have possessed a valid motor vehicle driving licence for at least one year.
(Read: Wheels within wheels)
Most of the applicants to the provincial government’s scheme for cheap taxis do not have a PSV licence or meet the one-year requirement, officials told The Tribune. Many do not have licences at all, they added.
The transport secretary, after getting the advice of the deputy inspector general of traffic police, has submitted a summary to the chief minister suggesting that the requirement be relaxed. Instead, the chosen applicants would undergo a 15-day training course before they get their taxis, said an official. Once they pass the course, they would get a PSV licence.
The government received about 67,000 applications for 20,000 yellow cabs by the August 15 deadline, a Transport Department official said.
About 12,000 Suzuki Mehran cars and 8,000 Suzuki Bolan vans are to be made available for Rs470,000 and Rs555,000 each. A quota has been given to each district based on population, with the least (191) reserved for applicants from Hafizabad and the most for applicants from Lahore (1,627). Eight thousand of the cars are to be made available to young people in southern Punjab.
The only conditions set by the Punjab government for applicants to the scheme was that they be unemployed and they be graduates, though the minimum education requirement was later brought down to intermediate.
The provincial government also moved the deadline for applicants back two weeks from July 30 to August 15, but still received only 67,000 applicants.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.