When the government by a fiat says that you need a license to do something, the government (deliberately and knowingly) creates a vested interest.

Government of Maharashtra gives a taxi permit / auto permit. So if I qualify as a driver, I should be able to go and pay a small fee (say Rs. 5k) and get a permit, right?

NO. The government stopped issuing permits in 1994-5. So the people having permits give the ‘license’ on rent to new people who want to drive a car / auto. This is really sad because the licenses are with the powers to be…These people will obviously not want a change.

If a new taxi service provider like Meru comes up, they still have to procure a license for each and every vehicle that they put on the road.

So how come new ‘vehicles’ come on the road? Simple in places like Thane, Panvel, etc. autos ply with zero documentation.

I was once in an auto which had NO DOCUMENTATION. No license for the driver, nothing for the auto.

The policeman who caught him said….’the fine is Rs. 5000 or keep your vehicle on the side of the road’….I went back to my early days and did a quick calculation. OMG this guy is gonna pay about Rs. 500 I thought.

The plucky driver….argued, cajoled, said I have ONLY….and paid him Rs. 40.

I wanted to recruit the driver on our negotiation team!


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  1. Hilarious 🙂

    I see many such autos in Bangalore too and they ply only in that locality and thus aviod police verification

  2. reminded me of one incident where the policeman asked the person to deposit 100 to a paan-shop. the guy went there and asked for a change of 500. the policeman noded from the distance. and this guy walked past without paying 🙂 so much for a full proof system. I’m sure that guy might be heading a marketing department of some MNC 😀

  3. Subra, when you say, you did a quick calculation, did you imply the bribe is 10% of the legitimate fine amount? always?

  4. this is no different from MHADA or DDA flats. i cant figure out why people think MHADA lottery is a good thing .
    the maharashtra capital should be moved to Aurangabad or somewhere in the center of the state so that precious real estate in town can be used by those who really want it.

  5. Sir,
    In (y)our* own backyard – Seawoods there is an entire sector with ‘Gaon-wala’ lobby running umpteen rickshaws, without meters, without badge, licence or any other documentation.

    *From your blogposts, tweets I surmise that you stay/work in Nerul? Would like to drop by to your office if so. I am your neighbour.

  6. When Govt. puts so many controls/restrictions on any business, business finds so many ways to bypass them. All these controls are pretty useless. They only cause more misery to the people, who have to shell out more money.

    If there is no restriction on number of autos registered in a city, there will be so many autos that consumer can bargain because of competition. When I say this, the question that has been asked most number of times is ‘how will the autowalas survive?’.

    Simple if the auto business is not profitable, some of them will simply go out of business. We will have a equilibrium. Profit/Loss will determine prices. Govt. interference only favours few people.

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