GOVERNMENT through the Ministry of Transport and Logistics has said that it has no intentions to stifle youth innovations of the growtthe h of small and medium business.
This came up as a response to a question by the Member of Parliament for Kantanshi Parliamentary Constituency Honourable Anthony Mumba
Hon. MUMBA wanted to know whether the Government is aware that compelling online car-hailing services to register with Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) is stiffing youth innovation and hindering the growth of small and medium businesses and if so, what measures are being taken to ensure that online car-hailing services are not adversely affected by the registration process; and what measures are being taken to enhance electronic communication technology innovations in the transport sector.
In response, Hon. Tayali said Government’s interest is to ensure that the online car-hailing services operate under a well-defined regulatory framework which is backed by law.
He said the existing regulatory framework was designed for conventional taxi operations and not online ride-hailing operations.
The Minister said applying such a regulatory framework to online car-hailing operations has proved a challenge as most of the vehicles registered on the Online Applications may fall off if the law is to be applied strictly.
Further, Hon. Tayali said Government is undertaking all the necessary consultations with all relevant stakeholders and is in the process of issuing tailor-made regulations to accommodate the operations of online car-hailing operators in Zambia while at the same time ensuring that appropriate taxes are paid to the Government.
He said Government will issue Statutory Instruments (SI) that will address these matters. The Minister also noted that Government will not put a deadline to the consultative process in order to do it right, but will, therefore, allow online car-hailing services to continue operating under the status quo until the regulations are issued.
Hon. Tayali also said Government is cognizant of the role that technologies play in facilitating business development and growth. He said Government has and will continue to put in place policies and legislation that embrace the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the transport and logistics sector.
The Minister added that Government is in the process of revising the ICT Policy of 2006 and developing the Digital Transformation Strategy and the National Logistics Strategy which imbed the use of ICTs in service delivery.