Here's how much loss ban on diesel cabs may cause to India
The court-mandated blanket ban on plying of diesel cabs in Delhi and NCR may cause a loss to the tune of $1.2 billion (Rs 7983.3 crore) as BPOs may choose to go out of India, the Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court.
Referring to a recent communication of IT industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to the Centre, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said the BPOs, also known as 'call centers' may shift out if their work is adversely impacted due to the ban.
"The BPO industry would be affected as diesel taxis had been used for pick and drop facilities of the employees. It will affect the economy," he told the bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Banumathi.
"The ban would affect the business generated by inter-city cabs engaged by the BPOs to ferry employees and this could cost India $1.2 billion," the law officer said. He also said the Centre will be filing an application shortly on the issue as it also pertains to the safety and security of the BPO employees.
"Due to the inconvenience caused to the BPO employees, the companies may choose to move out of the country which will be affecting the economy," he said.
To this, the bench asked as to why cannot they (BPO companies) hire CNG buses for providing the pick and drop facilities to the employees. The women employees have to be dropped at their door step during night hours and the buses cannot be plied in narrow lanes, Kumar replied.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) informed the court that it is discussing the issue arising out of the ban on diesel taxis with the Delhi government.
The apex court then said it would hear the matter on May 9 and asked the EPCA and others to come out with the road maps and suggestions.
EPCA also said the existing diesel cabs can be allowed till the expiry of their five years licence period and the permits should not be renewed after the expiry.
The EPCA said that diesel cabs, which are not permitted to ply in Delhi and NCR, are being affected by the ban as they have an all India permit to travel to destinations across the country where CNG is not available.
The apex court had on May 3 given two days time to Delhi government to file a detailed plan on phasing out diesel taxis from the city after it had moved the court seeking the same.
The AAP government had said in the wake of Supreme Court's order around 30,000 diesel taxis have stopped plying in the national capital which is causing inconvenience to the common people and creating a law and order situation.
The bench had then said whenever such decisions are taken, inconvenience is bound to be caused to people. The Supreme Court had on April 30 refused to extend the deadline fixed for conversion of diesel taxis into less- polluting CNG mode.
The court had on December 16 last year considered the contention of senior advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, that all diesel taxis be moved to CNG fuel within a reasonable time but not later than March 1, 2016.