All applicants to the Yellow Cab Scheme (YCS) will have to pay Rs1,200 to Rs5,000, depending on their location, to attend a training programme mandatory for final selection.
Those clearing a driving test following the 15 to 30 day training will get a licence to drive a public service vehicle (PSV), and the yellow cab. Those failing the test will lose the initial payment.
The training course is meant as a substitute for the requirement that applicants for PSV licences have a valid driving licence for one year, a condition that few of the applicants to the Yellow Cab scheme meet.
A provincial government official told The Express Tribune that a proposal that the training be made free-of-charge was with the chief minister.
He said the Transport Department would organise the training in cooperation with the Traffic Police. He said the government planned to charge each applicant in 10 southern districts of the province (the names of the districts have not yet been finalised) Rs1,200. He added that applicants in other districts would be required to pay between Rs3,500 and Rs5,000 to attend the training. Only those passing the driving test at the end of the training programme will get a PSV licence. A five-year licence costs Rs1,250.
A private transport company has been hired to train 60 Traffic Police officials who would then conduct the training programme.
The official said the government had yet to take a decision regarding the insurance of the vehicles and the drivers. He added that most insurance companies had refused to insure the vehicles or the drivers. He said no headway had yet been made in finalising fares or selecting points for taxi stands.
The balloting for the selection of candidates for the training programme in Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan and Rawalpindi divisions will take place on August 29. 2,500 vehicles will be distributed in October.
The provincial government has allocated Rs4.5 billion in the current year’s budget for the scheme. It is offering 20,000 Suzuki Mehran cars and Suzuki Bolan vans to people with a minimum of 12 years of education.
At least 8,000 cars are reserved for residents of southern districts of the province.
The successful applicants will need to pay Rs555,000 for a Bolan or Rs470,000 for a Mehran. The amount will be payable over five years in monthly installments of Rs8,000.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2011.