KUWAIT CITY, Aug 17: About 70 citizens owning roving taxi companies in the country, and severely affected by the decision of preventing more than one passenger in a taxi, embarked on a sit-in at the premises of the Ministry of Interior in Subhan area to protest against the decision, which they said is causing them great losses, and demanded its immediate cancellation, reports Al-Rai daily.
They pointed out that the losses are represented in the payment of fines for violations in hundreds of cases they face due to the application of the aforementioned decision, which they consider unfair- not to mention their financial obligations, rents, installments and others.
They pointed out that the decision will cause the closure of about 300 companies. They noted all operators are owners of small projects, and also threatened with imprisonment in the event that taxi drivers are obliged to continue taking one passenger only.
One of those affected by the decision, Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi, said “we made a call to the Minister of Interior to cancel the decision. Surprisingly, 2013 model cars are excluded from the decision, knowing we cannot buy modern cars as everyone has financial obligations.”
He added “a large number of taxi drivers have parked their taxis in front of the taxi companies and bought private cars to carry passengers, leaving us to an unknown fate, which will inevitably put us behind bars.”
For his part, owner of a roving taxi company, Adel Bouzeber said “we’re severely affected by the decision of taking only one passenger”, because it’s impossible to implement. We cannot take a family or a woman with children, which makes it difficult to continue our commercial activity.
Moreover, we are citizens loaded with financial burdens and obligations in vehicle installments, employee salaries and shop rents, and we are unable to fulfill all of these.
Bouzeber called on the Ministry of Interior to find quick remedy to the suffering of the owners of roving taxi companies, explaining “it is unreasonable for the company owners to have licenses to practice the profession and be restricted this way, while the owners of private vehicles who violate state and traffic laws are left to compete with us by taking customers before our eyes, while we’re unable to act.
He pointed out that owners of the companies are threatened with imprisonment due to losses incurred throughout the suspension period of the coronavirus crisis that had no mercy on small or big businesses. After our visit to the Ministry of Health, we were told that this case is considered a technical issue and falls within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior, he noted.