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Govt softens stance on cab-hailing apps; will not ban Uber and Ola

The Indian government has ruled out banning cab-hailing apps like Uber and Ola, but will be imposing conditions to make their operations safer, reports ET. The transport ministry is also likely to issue an advisory within the next three weeks to all state governments to regulate these services under the Motor Vehicles Act. According to the Ministry, the Government wants to promote IT based taxi companies and not ban them. Government officials mentioned that the apps come within the purview of the Motor Vehicles Act as they are used to solicit services for transport, rejecting the idea that these services should be governed by the IT Act. Note that services like Uber and Ola do not operate taxi services and only act as aggregators, something we had pointed out in December. However the ministry’s current draft also includes the term ‘aggregators’ in order to bring these IT enabled services under the legal framework of the new road safety bill. The pan India bill is expected to be finalized in the next 3 weeks, although it will not be legally binding. The Centre will urge the state governments to accept the guidelines and provide them with a list of dos and don'ts to provide a level playing field, although if to implement this or not will lie up to the state governments. Meanwhile an advisory is being issued as an interim measure till the new Motor Vehicles act is finalized. The transport ministry has also suggested amendments to the Road Transport…

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