Transport Ministry: Cannot increase taxi fares at own discretion, will take action

Taxi captured driving on Majeedhee Magu in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Stressing that taxi drivers do not have the discretion to decide on prices of taxi fares, Transport Ministry has stated action will be taken against those charging higher prices than what is stipulated in the regulations.

In a statement by Transport Ministry this morning after staying silent for multiple days regarding the concerns raised by taxi drivers over the recent hike in fuel prices – they said that as taxi service is closely linked to public interest, it needs to be regulated.

Transport Ministry, in reference to taxi regulations, underscored that it is the Ministry that has the discretion to make decisions on prices of taxi fares. On this note, the Ministry warned that they will be taking action against taxi drivers and taxi centers charging higher prices than what is stipulated currently.

In their statement, Ministry also said that they will be attending to concerns raised by taxi centers which could be addressed right away – adding that solutions for remaining concerns would be sought through discussions.

The statement did not mention anything regarding the installation of taximeters.

Taxi centers have met with Transport Ministry on two occasions, regarding the issue of taxi fares. Their main demands are expediting the process of installing taximeters and increasing the price of taxi fares until meters are installed. 

A deadline was given by the taxi centers to the Transport Ministry to respond to their demands, which expired on last Thursday. With no response from the Ministry, taxi drivers halted operations and took it to the roads to protest.

After a one-day protest, taxis resumed operations on increased fares proposed by taxi centers. They claimed that as it is a transaction carried out by agreement between two parties, no authorities have the right to interfere with it.