Tuesday, October 6, 2015

RSTA and Taxi registration new rules:

The new regulation is aimed at those in the honest trade of 2nd job to overcome the rising cost of living. Employed people at the lower rug of the society are forced to make ends meet by taking up secondary jobs to supplement their monthly income.

And some such people drive taxi during off office hours and on week ends if they are free from the demands of regular jobs. This is honest hard work and those that engage in such secondary occupation are good humble citizens who work their butts off so that their family survives to lead a kind of acceptable decent life.

RSTA administration as such cannot be against humble people doing honest jobs to earn a manageable livelihood. It must be the Government decision to earn the good will of regular taxi drivers. Taxi drivers association seem to have quite a political clout. But not all regular taxi drivers are against the part timers. Some felt it was alright and did not think it was too much of a pinch to their own income ( reference BBS interview).

As a society,  we should encourage Bhutanese citizens to do honest works and improve their livelihood. Closing of all avenues of honest work opportunity only forces people to support corrupt practises. And those placed in dire economic situation will resort to any other means including changing religion if it brings economic salvation.

I fully respect the regular taxi drivers and have never supported the obligation to buy electric cars to register as taxis. I am glad that this rule has been relaxed to some extent. At the same time the taxes on taxis of both regular and part timers are same. The difference is part timer are not much of a market competition to regular ones but they comply with all the obligations enforced by law. And if these part timers could do without this secondary job, they would be the first to opt out and take life a little easier.

I hope the nation and the Government of the day kindly take a re-look at the lives of part time taxi drivers. Most of them may be living a life below the standard of some regular taxi drivers. And few I hope have better lives. Bhutanese can do with less kidu dependent families. If given a comfortable choice both regular and part time taxi drivers would prefer other occupations. Life on the road is a hard life and dangerous also. Unless compelled to for economic reasons who would want to be a taxi driver. It is not to seek compassion. But one hopefully hope reasonable rules especially when determining the source of low income families will prevail.

It is O.K if I am rich and buys taxis to be hired out to other drivers and thereby  create more wealth for my family. But if I can only afford to buy just one car, I cannot use it as a taxi during off office hours to supplement monthly income to improve my family livelihood. Such vicious rules against the have nots will one day breakdown the harmony that has been nurtured for over hundred years.

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