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The ban imposed by the government of Karnataka on Ola cabs has been lifted. It was only a couple of days ago that cab aggregator Ola drew flak from the state's transport department for flouting of regulations and this ended with a ban being imposed on Ola.
. @Olacabs will run their business as usual from today. However there is an urgent need for policies to catch-up with new technologies & also industries too should work closer with Govt to help evolve policies for innovations.— Priyank Kharge (@PriyankKharge) March 24, 2019
Media reports have now confirmed that the ban on Ola cabs has been lifted.The Government of Karnataka has banned the operation of two-wheeler taxi services in the state.However, a few companies continue to operate two-wheeler taxis and the state transport department alleged that Ola too continued operating two-wheeler taxis despite them being asked not to.
The government therefore suspended Ola's license for a period of six months and asked the cab aggregator to stop its operations immediately.Things have changed since then and top Ola officials have been in negotiations with the government. The ban was imposed on 18 March, 2019 and was lifted on 24 March, 2019.
Priyank Kharge Karnataka's social welfare minister tweeted on Sunday, 24 March stating, "Ola Cabs will run their business as usual from today. However there is an urgent need for policies to catch up with new technologies & also industries too should work closer with Govt to help evolve policies for innovations."
The minister's tweet certainly made it clear that Ola Cabs can continue running as usual. However it also shows the willingness of the government to make changes to the very policies that put Ola in trouble. It is still unclear, what kind of changes Priyank Kharge hinting at.
He was also quoted as saying, "I've had a meeting with the transport department. The transport officials have also met the chief secretary. It'll be resolved, it should not be a problem. There are new technologies that are being introduced."
"Policy in any part of the world, not only in Bengaluru, is always playing catch-up with technology. Innovation happens faster than policy. That is why we had suggested that any innovation that needs to be evaluated by government, we will come up with an innovation authority which will be headed by the CM."
Thoughts On Ola Cabs Continuing Business After Six Days' Ban
Ola is the largest cab aggregator in Bangalore and the the company is also headquartered in Bangalore. However, Ola has been facing stiff competition from Uber, one of the largest cab aggregators in the world.
The two brands have been at loggerheads for a long time and the ban on Ola certainly gave Uber the upper hand for a few days. Now that Ola is back in business, the competition us expected to continue. However, now there appears to an open door for dialogue with the government of Karnataka.
This could lead to the government lifting the ban on two-wheeler taxis in the state. There are several Indian states in which the two-wheeler taxi business is permitted and is also growing rapidly. Karnataka might as well allow two-wheeler taxis to function in the state.