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Grab likely to be treated as traditional taxi firm
The Saigon Times Daily
Friday,  Oct 12, 2018,17:17 (GMT+7)

Grab likely to be treated as traditional taxi firm

The Saigon Times Daily

A Grab car is seen in HCMC. The Ministry of Transport has submitted a draft Government decree in which providers of ride-hailing services such as Grab would be treated as traditional transport service firms rather than as tech ones – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC - The Ministry of Transport has sent the prime minister a draft Government decree replacing Decree 86 on transport business and its conditions, proposing ride-hailing firms such as Grab be treated as traditional transport service providers rather than as tech firms, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

The ministry had consulted the National Assembly Economic Committee; the Prime Minister’s working group; the Central Institute for Economic Management; the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry; taxi associations in Hanoi, Danang and HCMC; and transport service providers Vinasun and Thanh Buoi in the process of preparing the draft decree.

Accordingly, there were two main opinions on the management of ride-hailing firms. Some said Grab is a transport firm, not a technology provider, as it is directly involved in transport services.

If the draft decree is approved, vehicles that have registered with Grab will need to have a lightbox installed, highlighting the word “Taxi,” and to install taxi signs and add taxi badges to their rearview mirrors.

On the other hand, some others said, amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the State should create a fair business environment and make conditions favorable for firms applying technology in their operations. The State should not hinder innovation, especially in business modes, they remarked.

They suggested abolishing regulations that drivers must send passenger lists to the departments of transport, that transport firms must have their own traffic safety units and that household businesses are not allowed to conduct electronic transport contracts. Taxis collecting app-based payments should be viewed as e-taxis, and regulations on e-taxis should be issued separately.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The pointed out that the ministry had prepared the draft decree with these two solutions in mind but had agreed with the first one as the operations of Grab and traditional taxi firms were similar. Thus, they should be subject to the same regulations to ensure fairness.

According to the draft decree, taxi operators must equip their vehicles with invoice printing machines. Drivers must give passengers these invoices, which should include the name of the taxi operator, the vehicle’s plate number and the fare.

Meanwhile, ride-hailing firms must provide this information to passengers before they use the service, in line with regulations on electronic transactions. These firms must issue e-invoices to passengers and the General Department of Taxation in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Finance.

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