The Maldives government shot back at local taxi centers for their apparent price hike decision owing to rising oil prices in the global market.
Taxi centers operating exclusively in the Greater Male' Region came to the unanimous decision on Saturday evening, 05th March, following the price bumps on crude oil in international prices that have put a ripple effect on global economies; including the Maldives.
Surprisingly, the decision for price revisions for taxi fares does not fall within the authority of any of the taxi centers but rather comes under the mandate of the Ministry of Transport.
Though the centers have come to a unified decision to hike prices, they had asserted that they will convene with the drivers before the actual changes are brought into effect.
The reported price revisions of taxi fares include;
- Trips within Male' City: MVR30.00
- Trips within Hulhumale' Phase-I and Phase-II: MVR25.00
- Male' City to Hulhumale': MVR100.00
- Male' to Airport, Hulhumale' to Airport: MVR80.00
- Male' to Hulhumale' Phase-II: MVR120.00
- Hulhumale' Phase-I to Phase-II: MVR40.00
- Male' to Seaplane Terminal, Hulhumale' to Seaplane Terminal: MVR100.00
- Hulhumale' Phase-II to Seaplane Terminal: MVR120.00
Along with price revisions, an additional fee of MVR5.00 will supposedly be incurred on fares for trips between 00:00hrs and 06:00hrs.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the top brass of taxi centers will meet with seniors of the Ministry of Transport sometime on Sunday, 06th March to discuss about their decision.
Furthermore, a local taxi driver, who had been involved in the discussions between the centers noted that if the centers are denied a meeting with the authority, they will submit a unanimous declaration to the ministry. The declaration will reportedly bear the official seals of all the registered taxi centers in Greater Male' Region.
Earlier, the Maldives government attempted to convene with taxi centers to deliberate on approaches to reduce taxi fares. One such alternative presented was, installation of taxi-meters which will comparatively slice the prices.
However, the idea did not manifest into action or implementation owing to a lack of support within the cabbie community and the government.
Meanwhile, the Maldives government sternly addressed their stance regarding the cab community's decision. According to the authority, the centers are not authorized to bring forth such amendments.
The ministry's warning had come on Sunday as a challenge to the centers' unanimous decision to hike fare prices effective from Thursday, 10th March.
The Deputy Minister of Ministry of Transport Mr. Shimaz Ali who spoke with local news outlet, Mihaaru clarified and affirmed that the centers do not have the authority or permission to amend fare prices.
Mr. Ali further warned of adequate legal action against taxi drivers or centers found in breach of the ministry's regulations.
The regulations ensure disciplinary action against taxi drivers and centers culpable of the breach, with a first-time offense fine of MVR500 and a second-time offense fine of MVR1,000.
Moreover, the authority possesses the authority to revoke licenses of taxi drivers and centers if they fail to rectify the mistakes following advice.