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New taxi permit criteria more transparent: Sayed-Khaiyum

May 21, 2018 7:01 pm

The new criteria in place for taxi permit applications is expected to ensure more transparency and also benefit those households with an annual income of less than twenty thousand dollars.

Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says over the last 18 months, the Land Transport Authority has worked progressively to ensure the new processes and requirements would advance a more professional and standardized public transport sector.

“To call a spade a spade, for many years within the LTA, people used to get a permit depending on who they knew, sometimes based on ethnicity, sometimes if they went to the same school, sometimes based on whether the people were related to somebody at LTA, whether they came to the same province or the same temple or mosque or whatever it was and that created a lot of uncertainty with the LTA and transportation system.”

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LTA’s Board Chairman Vijay Maharaj says other than the criteria, the authority has appointed an independent review board.

“In a more transparent effort, the new applications will be reviewed by five individuals through an independent selection committee which the LTA now has. Once the successful applicants are selected by the independent review committee, only then will their applications be put in the barrels for the draws to establish the new taxi permit holders after the board decides on the appeals by the unsuccessful applicants if any.”

Meanwhile 43 Fijians yesterday were awarded their taxi permits, the first in seven years since a freeze was put in place.

Among the recipients was Widower Elesi Ranavue who noted that even though it took five years, it was worth the wait with the new business venture to be run by her son to assist with her missionary work and their day to day needs.

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