Punjab Government Reviewing Ban On Uber and Careem

Hours after the official missive stating ride hailing services Uber and Careem are illegal in Punjab, the Chairman of PITB, Dr Umar Saif has said that this action is being reviewed. In addition to a statement posted on social media, the Punjab government has now said that these services are not suspended and that this matter will be resolved within 15 days.

Sources report that the Chairman PITB has remarked that this action is being reviewed and when asked about the notion of ‘illegal’ being directed at these services; Dr. Umar Saif said this -missive- was an internal memo and has been prematurely leaked on the media. Rest assured, we are coming up with a formal policy regarding this matter.

The government’s argument of bringing these cab hailing services into tax grid is pretty straight forward. This statement is augmented by Umar Siaf, who has admitted that Punjab government is tackling this issue with an ‘innovative business model.’ He went on to explain that there are usually two methods to this sort of integration:

  • Treat them as a regular cab service
  • Or treat them as a service that can be regulated

In an interview with DAWN, the PITB Chairman has admitted that ‘we don’t want to treat them as a taxi service.’ Thus, we come to a point , where government is adamant on taxation and regulation of these services. The question now is, what sort of tax structure is the government planning to implement? Allegedly, sources are reporting that a new tax model is being formulated for these sort of companies, which’ll be modeled around taxation regimes for cab hailing companies in Malaysia, Egypt and Indonesia, where they are treated as ‘Network Service Providers.’

Its a known fact that both Careem and Uber have provided employment to thousands of Pakistanis, increased the sale of automobiles in the country and indirectly helped in reforming lifestyles of Pakistanis. So, it shouldn’t come off as a massive surprise that multiple stakeholders from the government had to work extremely hard to bring these companies Pakistan; this missive -from Punjab and Sindh- is a polar approach. In Saif’s words “The government is taking a balanced approach. We want to come up with a new taxation policy, that helps people gets jobs but also regulates the industry.”

Notable Replies

  1. I hope the matter is solved in a just manner

    Not resulting in loss of jobs & problems for the users of these services

    But I have to say, in my opinion leaving these companies & their employees untaxed would be a great set back for other companies of the same nature that do pay taxes like A Taxi. The rules should be the same across the board, only that would be the fair thing to do.

    Many have told me that drivers are earning over 50K a month easily, it doesnt make sense taxing an employee earning half that amount working in a factory etc. & leaving Uber or Careem Drivers untaxed.

    But at the same time a BAN is certainly the worse decision possible.


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