Karnataka HC says app-based autorickshaws can charge a 10% surcharge along with GST
The High Court of Karnataka has directed the State government to fix the fare of app-based autorickshaw aggregators within 15 days. Till then, the court allowed the service providers to also collect a 10 percent additional charge above the fare already fixed by the government. The government last fixed the autorickshaw fares on June 11, 2021.
One of the reasons for the government to ban app-based autorickshaw-hailing services was that they were charging surcharges over and above the fare fixed by the government. Justice MGS Kamal, in his order issued on Friday, allowed the 10 percent surcharge along with applicable GST and said this would be a only temporary measure till the new fares are fixed.
The aggregators had sought at least a 20 percent surcharge, but the Transport Department was not willing to allow more than 10 percent. Last week, the government banned app-based autorickshaw-hailing services on the grounds that the license issued under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules was only for cabs and not autorickshaws.
The ANI Technologies Private Limited which operates Ola, Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd, and Uber India Systems Private Limited challenged the ban before the court. On Thursday, Justice MGS Kamal heard the petitions and suggested that the authorities and the companies arrive at a compromise and make a common submission. The government has agreed to talk to the aggregators.
While the State government argued that autorickshaws are not covered under its rules, the court said the Motor Vehicles Aggregator Guidelines 2020 (MVAG) issued by the Central government covers autorickshaws, e-rickshaw, motorcycles, and buses too. All these vehicles can be used to offer aggregator service, the court said.
Karnataka HC says app-based autorickshaws can charge a 10% surcharge along with GST.