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The Tyranny of a Level Playing Field

The Tyranny of a Level Playing Field

The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Chances are transport regulators in Karnataka have never read the aforementioned quote. And if they have, it appears they have not internalized its teachings in their day job. Little else explains their recent proposal to prescribe both a floor and a cap for cab aggregators operating in the state. Not to be left behind in this race to the bottom, neighbouring Maharashtra too is following suit.

These initiatives are in response to protests by two groups-the driver-partners that operate using the cab- aggregator applications to find matching riders, who have recently struck work to demand higher incentives, and the traditional taxi operators who have lately faced the brunt of competition from the cab-aggregation industry. The commissioner, transport and road safety, in Karnataka has been quoted as saying that these minimum price mandates are being implemented “to prevent unfair trade practices by aggregators, in which drivers lose out. If the operators cut prices, drivers are impacted.” Newspaper reports indicate a committee set up by the Karnataka government has recommended that the cab aggregators be mandated to double their respective minimum fares… Read more.

Author: Mandar Kagade, Policy Analyst with the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at ISB.

Source: This article is reproduced from LiveMint dated April 20, 2017.

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