Karwa taxi service to be privatised

May 20, 2014 - 6:22:48 am

DOHA: The Karwa taxi service will be fully privatised by 2017, with six private companies expected to run the service.

Mowasalat, the state transport company, will remain the regulator for private taxi operators.

Karwa has awarded contracts to four private taxi companies and two of them are already operating their services.

Plans are afoot to increase the number of private taxi operators to six, with Mowasalat operating no taxis and just functioning as the regulator.

The contracts awarded to private taxi operators would be for a period of five years and would be renewable.

These details were disclosed to the Advisory Council by the transport minister, H E Jassim Seif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, yesterday.

A discussion took place in the Advisory Council on the report of its financial and economic services committee on proposed amendments to a law (No. 37 of 2004).

A proposed amendment talks of the state providing financial support to Mowasalat for losses it has suffered on account of running public transport services (buses).

The proposed amendment was referred to the financial and economic panel of the Advisory Council on February 3 this year for review and its opinion.

The state provides financial support to Mowasalat but not under a law. Once the funding process becomes part of a law, Mowasalat would be able to seek listing on the Qatari stock exchange, the Advisory Council was told.

As per the proposed amendment, on which the Advisory Council held discussions, the extent of the state’s financial support to be provided to Mowasalat and the payment schedule is to be decided by the Minister of Finance.

In 2002, Mowasalat took a contract from the government to run public transport services (buses) across the country.

The company is provided financial backing by the state because bus tickets are subsidised. This annual subsidy payment is to be regularised vide a law.

Mowasalat plans to continue operating public transport services until the year 2022, Al Sharq reported.

The company has four key departments and they include, apart from public transport, a support services department, a strategic services department and a technical support department.

THE PENINSULA

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