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Delhi government’s EV conversion targets for aggregators too ambitious, says IAMAI

IAMAI has proposed reducing the burden on aggregators by reducing some targets and doing away with a few of the other compliance requirements.

We missed this earlier: The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has raised issues with the Delhi government over the draft Motor Vehicles Aggregator scheme, arguing that it is too ambitious and burdensome.

Concerns with the demanding targets set to convert Aggregators’ (such as food delivery, cab services, etc) vehicles to Electric Vehicles (EVs), as well as with other provisions of the scheme like mandatory commercial registration of these vehicles, the requirement for licensing, etc. have been raised with the government, the IAMAI said in a statement dated March 23. Aggregators falling under the ambit of scheme would include entities like Amazon which provides e-commerce services and their delivery, passenger transport services like Uber, Ola as well as food delivery services like Zomato and Swiggy.

The scheme, released for public consultation on 24th January, proposed that aggregators functioning in the National Capital Region set up command and control centres in Delhi, cap surge pricing at designated fares, and more. The IAMAI is an industry body claiming to have over 350 Indian and Multi-national companies among its members, including aggregators like Ola, Amazon, etc.

What concerns has IAMAI raised?

Targets for EV transitioning need to reduce: The transitioning targets for the aggregators’ vehicles should be reduced to 10% by the end of 2023 to ensure minimum disruption to the economy, IAMAI has suggested.

Currently, the scheme proposes the following transitioning targets for commercial 2 wheeler vehicles of aggregators after they get their licenses:

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• Within the first six months from the day of grant of license 10%
• Within one year from the day of grant of license 25%
• Within two years from the day of grant of license 50%

IAMAI has called these targets too ambitious. It also said that the targets should not be mandated until platforms or aggregators have strong use cases/ options of fleets available.

License fee requirement increases the regulatory burden: The scheme proposes mandatory licenses for aggregators to operate in New Delhi. This proposal will impact businesses as well as the delivery partners associated with them and should not be mandated, IAMAI has said.

Further, they have pointed to possible difficulties with the proposal to also impose a license fee on aggregators based on the number of drivers and vehicles in their fleet. Owing to the transient nature of such platforms it will be difficult to ascertain such a license fee on the number of vehicles, IAMAI said.

Commercial registration not available for 2 wheelers:  The association asked the government to modify its requirements for all vehicles, part of an aggregators’ fleet, to have commercial registration. It specifically said that this could lead to several delivery partners getting excluded from the economy as:

  • There are currently no provisions for 2-wheelers to receive such registrations.
  • Many partners rent or buy motorcycles or bikes and thus may not have commercial registration

Need to distinguish provisions based on types of aggregators: Lastly, the IAMAI also asked that the policy distinguishes between aggregators of varying natures – such as those providing e-commerce services, last-mile delivery and those providing passenger transport – as ‘some mobility clauses proposed in the draft policy may not be applicable for all.’ Their statement did not elaborate further on any specific clauses of the policy.

In brief: Proposed provisions under the Aggregator Scheme

Who will the scheme apply to? The scheme specifies that aggregators and their ‘integrated vehicles’ plying in New Delhi with more than 50 two, three, or four-wheeler vehicles (except for buses) will be subject to it. These would also have to be registered under the Companies Act or Co-operative Societies Act or the Limited Partnerships Act and have a registered office in India.

“any person/entity which owns, operates, or manages a digital or an electronic facility or a web platform for a passenger to connect with a driver for the purpose of transportation, or connects a driver offering to deliver/pick up a product, package or parcel from a seller, e-commerce entity or consignor,” – Definition of Aggregators in the draft scheme

What will the aggregators have to do?

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Apart from the aforementioned requirements of converting fleet vehicles to electric, applying for licenses and setting up command and control here’s what else the scheme proposed:

  • Provide data to the transport department: Data regarding the number of vehicles in operation, other state vehicles providing services in Delhi, trips taken from Delhi, and further analytics should be available and be provided to the transport department in a prescribed format as and when required.
  • Identity of the driver to be confirmed: Through verification or confirmation by the rider, aggregators have to confirm that the identity of the driver is the same as that enlisted on its app.
  • Ceiling on surge pricing: Twice the base fare specified by the transport department from time to time is mentioned as the limit for surge pricing in the policy.
  • Ensure GPS working in the vehicle: Aggregators will have to ensure that the GPS in a car used for ‘on-demand passenger transportation’ is working or provide for efficient resolution of issues with it.
  • Ensure assigned route taken: Passenger and driver should be notified through the mobile app if the vehicle is not taking the assigned route on the trip.
    Identity of the driver to be confirmed: Through verification or confirmation by the rider, aggregators have to confirm that the identity of the driver is the same as that enlisted on its app

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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