Chaudhry says 1557 permits ‘ridiculous’

FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI Labour Party leader and former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry has labelled the Land Transport Authority’s announcement of 1557 new taxi permits for the Western Division as “ridiculous”.

He also said that the LTA allowing successful applicants to do as they pleased with the new permits was not in the best interest of those who were supposed to benefit from the exercise.

“We already have too many taxis and adding another 1557 in Lautoka and Nadi will simply mean that everyone will be at a disadvantage,” he said.

“And establishing a very stringent system to obtain the new permits where people have to qualify under a means test only to allow them to sell it to people who are financially better-off just defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.

“It should not be used for speculative gain by big businessmen.”

In response the LTA said how a successful applicant used the permit was left to their discretion.

“A taxi permit would count as an asset for the permit holder, and therefore the fact they wish to sell or use as a collateral in a bank as a security or want to use it in a manner most appropriate to them either as a taxi business or just as an asset is entirely up to the permit holder,” LTA said.