THE Entrepreneurial and Co-operative Development Ministry should be commended for reversing its policy to issue taxi permits only to individual taxi operators rather than companies, “Permits now for individuals, not taxi firms”, (The Star, April 7).
The new policy is a step in the right direction to encourage self-employment and reduce urban poverty.
Some taxi operators do not have their own taxi permits or taxicabs, but have to hire them from absentee owners.
They end up having to work very hard and long hours, just to meet the rental, petrol and maintenance expenses, before deriving a residue for their efforts.
This partly explains why some taxi drivers have to rush here and there to make as many trips as possible within a time frame and are choosy about their destinations in order to avoid traffic jams.
The permit-hiring practice may have indirectly contributed to traffic accidents.
It will be ideal if all taxi operators can have their own permits and cabs to enable them to earn a decent living.
With the new policy, the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board should ensure that taxi permits are only issued to genuine taxi operators and not to absentee or pseudo owners.
They should be given according to the applicants’ driving experience and seniority in operating the taxi business.
Most of all, the board must also ensure no one individual should be allowed to hold more than one taxi permit.
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