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Karnataka govt lifts ban from Ola; emphasises for urgent need of policies


The government of Karnataka has lifted six months ban from ride-hailing major Ola in the state. The decision came just two days after facing flak from citizens of Bengaluru and other cities as well as startup ecosystem comprising of entrepreneurs, investors, and policy experts.

The matter which slated to affect the mobility of millions of users and livelihood of several lakh drivers got resolved after state’s Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge took the matter to the Chief Minister.

On Friday, he iterated that the government is open for talks and help Ola to avoid the ban.

“Ola 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,” tweeted Kharge.

Two days ago, Bengaluru Transport Department suspended Ola’s cab aggregator licence for six months. The ban was imposed because the company didn’t take regulatory permission before re-launching bike taxi services in the state capital.

The Hyundai-backed firm had resumed bike-taxi service in February in Bengaluru. Running bike taxis service is reportedly illegal as the government has failed to frame a policy for such service.

The suspension of licence was a massive concern for Ola as Bengaluru and other cities of Karnataka contribute hefty volume for the Bhavish Aggarwal-led firm. Lift of the proposed ban is undoubtedly a great relief for the firm.

Although we tend to blame the government for not formulating policies impacting operations and fate of many startups, our participation (startups) in shaping policies is very much proactively required to avoid a situation like Ola.

In fact, Kharge pointed out – an urgent need for policies to catch-up with new technologies and this can happen only with closer participation of startups.

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