K’taka Minister for policy changes in tune with emerging biz


Bengaluru: Amid a legal battle against new state norms governing app-based taxi-aggregators, Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge today said these companies should follow the rules but pitched for changes in policies in tune with emerging new businesses like e-commerce.

"There are certain laws that needs to be followed. If you are a facilitator or an aggregator, and if you are making money from that platform, you are responsible for safeguarding passengers or customers," he told PTI here.

The Minister was responding to a query on how the Siddaramaiah government would address issues raised by the aggregators.

Kharge, however, said both the central and state governments should change the existing policies and tune them to the needs of emerging new businesses and industries.

"We - both the central and state governments - should pull our socks up and prepare policies, that are in tune with the emerging new businesses and industries, which will allow them to function freely," he said.

The Minister said he was in a tricky situation as IT minister because he had to ensure that the government does not lose revenue and at the same time facilitate ease of business.

Uber has challenged the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, in the high court here after transport department impounded vehicles for not securing licences under the new norms.

Uber had contended that since taxi-hailing app Uber is a technology platform that connects drivers with passengers, it cannot be regulated under Indias Motor Vehicles Act, which governs taxis and aggregators in the country.

During the hearing of the plea, the court had last month questioned the state government on stifling the startup business through regulatory rules that create an "unviable" environment while on the other hand wanting to encourage them.

It had also sought to know why aggregators like Uber had to fulfil the requirement of installing panic buttons in cabs and not other taxi drivers or owners in the state.


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