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Maharashtra proposes to cap surge pricing by Ola, Uber


Maharashtra government has issued a resolution capping the highest fare on surge pricing for ride-hailing apps such as Ola and Uber.

The government of Maharashtra has capped the highest fare under surge pricing that ride-hailing apps such as Ola and Uber can charge.

Surge pricing can be up to three times the base fare of black-and-yellow taxis for the equivalent distance, said an HT report.

Currently, the fare of black-and-yellow taxis is fixed at Rs 14.84 per km. Therefore, ride-hailing apps aggregate fare cannot go beyond Rs 44.52 per km even during peak demand.

The state government has put no cap on how low the fare can go.

However, the matter is scheduled to be heard next on April 6.

Maharashtra’s transport minister Anil Parab is also expected to inform the state legislature about the same in the next few days, the report said.

The government resolution has incorporated most recommendations suggested by the BC Khatua committee, which was set up in Oct 2016 by the state government under the chairmanship of retired IAS officer BC Khatua to draft the minimum and maximum fare structure for ride-hailing firms.

The Khatua Committee had submitted its report in Sept 2017.

Ola and Uber are yet to react to the development. Entrackr’s queries to them did not elicit any response till press time.

However, the cab aggregators have been defending the practice citing demand and supply issues and monetising during periods of peak demand for cabs.

This is not the first instance when the issue of surge pricing has surfaced.

In 2016, Delhi High Court had also banned the practice of surge pricing by app-based taxi aggregators in Delhi-NCR.

Last year in October, Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convener of RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch had written a letter to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asking him to take necessary and immediate action against surge pricing.

The central government is also in the midst of framing new guidelines for cab aggregator platforms in regard to surge pricing.

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