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Permit issues

Luke Rawalai
Saturday, June 07, 2014

ALLEGING that the Land Transport Authority or municipal council officers are corrupt is unnecessary, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Speaking at a consultation with public service vehicle operators in Labasa, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there may be allegations of corruptive issues in terms of processes.

He said in Sigatoka they were asked by taxi operators why there were so many taxi permits for a small town.

"We had 70 taxi permits for Sigatoka town and now taxidrivers are saying rural service license operators were intruding into their territory so there had been too many taxis with fewer customers," he said.

"The question now arises as to how many taxi permits should a town have.

"There has been no science or mathematics done around the issue to come up with a standard figure."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said in some countries it was understood that for every 500 or 200 people they may have a standard number of one taxi.

"For instance if the population of Labasa is 10,000 hypothetically and if we were to give a taxi to every 500 people therefore you will have 20 taxis for Labasa.

"We do not have any science around it because if we do it becomes very subjective.

"We have also received submissions from bus companies saying that LTA issues bus permits or say 66 permits without any reason or consultation and those who were already driving or servicing the routes are not given the first opportunity."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said a report from the consultations would help Cabinet to make decisions on whether to maintain or lift the freeze.

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