Amid a court battle between taxi-aggregators and the state government, Karnataka Industries Minister R V Deshpande on Friday said companies like, Ola Cabs and Uber India Technologies, should follow rules of the country.
“I had a meeting with Ola and Uber officials. There are some regulations of the transport department which are applicable for everybody. They should follow them,” he told reporters while announcing a ThinkBig Summit, an event to encourage women’s entrepreneurs, to be held in November here.
“They should understand and live with these conditions of this country. Nobody can be above (law),” he added.
The Minister was responding to a query on what suggestions he would give to companies like Ola and Uber, who are facing challenges from government polices.
The remark came after cab-aggregators and state government have been sparring over the recently introduced Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016.
Deshpande said taxi-aggregators should obtain licences and operate as a legal entity and cannot question the government on this front.
Uber had moved Karnataka High Court after the transport department impounded the vehicles for not securing licences under the new norms.
The department also had suspended taxis, which led to protests by drivers, which prompted them to independently file a petition in the court. The department had in April increased the penalty for the cab aggregators from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, for allegedly operating services without obtaining necessary license, despite its repeated warnings.
Deshpande said the government can encourage and support those entrepreneurs who are legitimate. He also said the government has decided to bring in a new e-commerce policy, which was decided in the Vision Group meeting.
Deshpande welcomed the centre’s nod to attract overseas funds by giving foreign investors residency status if they bring in at least Rs 10 crore capital in the country.
“It is a good initiative of Government of India because it will help Karnataka in a big way as the state boasts of many multinational companies and R&D facilities. Many a time in previous occasions, Karnataka has proved to be a state which makes them feel at home,” he said.
Asked to comment on the exclusion of China and Pakistan from the scheme, Deshpande it would be difficult to react to such “sensitive issues” but hoped that the countries which have been left out are included.