Service charge

Taxi service solution based on an application only for the tourism sector: CM

Jul 22, 2022 | 06:27 IST

Taxi service solution based on an application only for the tourism sector: CM

Team Herald

PORVORIM: Even as the opposition demanded protection for local taxi operators without any backdoor to app-based transport, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said an app-based taxi aggregator was the only solution in the interest of the tourism sector. The Legislative Assembly witnessed a heated debate on Thursday as the government pushed to introduce an app-based tourist taxi service in the state while defending the existing Goa Miles aggregator service.

The chief minister called on the opposition not to “politicize” the taxi issue and said everyone should unite on a common platform to support the app-based taxi service.

Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said: “The Chamber is arguing over a service, where we have no intention of collecting commissions from taxi drivers and the entire amount earned by them is paid into their account. We do not want to support anything that is not in the interests of tourism and the state. The need of the hour is to have app-based taxi aggregators. The minister also said that the government may consider introducing family pension and insurance or scholarships for taxi drivers from the amount of 5% paid by the service provider, on gross earnings, at the government.

He said Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has made it mandatory for Goa Miles not to collect commissions from taxi drivers and the full amount earned by taxi owners is paid into their account and the service provider charges a convenience fee to the customer which is the source of business revenue.

Calangute MP Michael Lobo has urged the government to ensure that protection is given to locals involved in the taxi business as tourism is the only surviving industry at present.

Earlier, Cuncolim MP Yuri Alemao inquired about the general fee structure followed by Goa Miles also questioned the total revenue shared by the company with the government.

The Tourism Minister said that a total of Rs 3.34 crore was collected as GST from the start in 2018,” he said.

MP for Aldona, Carlos Ferreira, pointed out that the taxi aggregator had benefited from a relaxation of the revenue share due after February 2021. The minister replied that a notice had been sent to the company to pay pending contributions.