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Taxi Permit Enables Woman To Help Husband Bring Money To Family

Taxi Permit Enables Woman To Help Husband Bring Money To Family
Zareen Bibi (left) and Azifa Nisha with their taxi permits at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka on 29 July 2018. PHOTO: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA
July 29
11:54 2018

Zareen Bibi was one happy woman yesterday.

Ms Bibi was among the 1553 to receive their taxi permit,  at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum officiated at the draw.

Ms Bibi said the taxi permit would allow her to assist her husband, who is a market vendor in Nadi and the sole breadwinner in the family.

“I am really happy because it will enable me to help my husband because we have three children and we need to start thinking about their future,” she said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said previously taxi permits were distributed in a very complex manner through the Lands Transport Authority (LTA).

“The issue was there was no system as to how the taxi permits were issued; we found one person can have five to ten taxi permits,” he said.

“The other issue was people didn’t know the criteria for getting a taxi permit, there was no transparency of why some people did and didn’t get the taxi permit, which led to corruption.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said taxi permits before were sometimes given according to race and background and the “who-you-know” system.

He said they found out that some people had taxi permits even though they were living overseas.

“Government reviewed that and appointed an independent committee to look at how we can improve the system,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“There have been issues that there were too many taxis operating in a small town. The committee also looked at systems such as Singapore on how they drive the system,

The system now was, he added, the number of population in an area would determine the number of taxis.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum reminded taxi drivers to carry out their jobs with professionalism and to refrain from overcharging their customers.

LTA Board Chairperson, Vijay Maharaj said the application for transport zones which were drawn yesterday were received between May 31 and June 22 this year.

“Of the 2674, however, a total of 2536 applications that met the criteria have qualified for the barrel draw today,” he said.

“We have eliminated ill practices of the past and, moving forward, taxi permit applications will be processed transparently.”

Meanwhile, Azifa Nisha of Navakai, Nadi, received the permit on behalf of her 55-year-old father.

“I want to thank Government for our new taxi permit because I am a single mother looking after my son and parents too, so this would help generate money for the family,” she added.

Out of the 1533 taxi permits drawn, 1033 were from Lautoka, 162 from Nadi Zone 2 and 358 for Nadi Zone 1.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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