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Excise department asks Uber, Careem to share vehicle data

As news circulated on Tuesday of a move by the Punjab government to ban ride-hailing services Careem and Uber, the Directorate of Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control issued a notification requesting both organisations to share data on vehicles using their company’s platforms.

A notification sent to both companies observed that a number of private vehicles registered with the Motor Registering Authority were rendering services on a commercial basis under Careem and Uber.

It went on to request both companies to share data of vehicles that operate under their banner.

Yesterday, hours after an internal memo termed the operations of Uber and Careem “illegal”, Chairman of the Punjab IT board Umar Saif said the approach is being “reviewed”.

“This is being reviewed within the government,” Saif told in a telephone interview, when asked if the companies will be “banned” in Punjab. “We are coming up with a formal policy. This letter was an internal memo and has prematurely been made public.”

Explore: ‘No ban yet’: Punjab govt reviewing status of Uber, Careem

Although he said both Uber and Careem currently do not pay tax in Pakistan, Saif said the Punjab government is tackling the issue with an “innovative business model”.

“There are two ways that a government can approach such companies when they launch: 1) treat them as a taxi service or 2) treat them as a service that governments can regulate.”

“We don’t want to treat them as a taxi service,” Saif added. “But they need to be regulated and taxed. They must register as a formal business under a new taxation regime.”

When asked to share details on the new plan, Saif said it will be modelled around taxation regimes for such companies in Malaysia, Egypt and Indonesia where they are treated as “network service providers”.

courtesy : dawn news



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