KARACHI      -  The Sindh government has denied reports of banning ride-hailing transport services in the city, saying it was only bringing law to regulate the private enterprises running these services. The denial came from the spokesperson for the provincial government Murtaza Wahab, who said that the reports of banning were incorrect and they were only bringing laws to regulate these private enterprises after consulting all stakeholders.

“Hopefully we will become first province to recognise and regulate such enterprises,” said the provincial advisor who also holds portfolio of law affairs. The remarks from the provincial government came after the ride hailing transport services were asked from the provincial transport authorities to acquire route permits, fitness of vehicles and other formalities before plying vehicles on roads. The companies -‘Airlift’ and ‘SWVL’- were sent notices from transport department that public transport could not be allowed without a route permit.SWVL and Airlift have started their operation across the city and scores of vehicles painted with the companies’ logos are found on the roads of Karachi in almost all districts.The ride is booked from an online application by the customer and then the companies van picks the customer from a designated stop and leaves him to another. The decision caused a stir and provincial government was blamed for intentionally harassing the companies. It is pertinent to mention here that the Karachi faces issue of lack of transport facilities and even buses run in private sector are dilapidated. The federal and provincial governments have although initiated

transport projects with a majority on papers including green line, yellow line and other projects. The PPP led provincial authorities are also blamed for not completing a single transport

project in the city despite ruling the provincial for straight 11 years. Airlift Director Syed Mehr Haider said in a statement that the company will adhere to all the conditions set forth by Sindh Government. “Our top-most priorities are solving the traffic problems of Karachi and providing people a comfortable travel experience,” he said. He said that due to one Airlift vehicle, eight to 10 cars were not being brought out on the roads by commuters. “Since this is a Pakistani company,

its earnings in dollars are not going abroad,” he said. “This will have a positive impact on the import bill.”Provincial Transport Minister

Syed Awais Qadir Shah also clarified that the department only want to bring the ride hailing

transport services under tax ambit. “We have always welcomed

projects under private partnership and the provincial government will facilitate the transport companies to provide

better transport facilities to the Karachiites,” he said. The transport minister said that the companies were running

on trial basis and had not contacted the provincial authorities

for proper registration of their services. He further said that some Chinese companies have shown their interest in the transport sector and the authorities are in constant contact with them to