Delhi announces financial help for auto and taxi drivers hit by lockdown


Delhi government has announced a financial assistance package worth 5,000 for the drivers of para-transit vehicles and others holding public service badge in the wake of the lockdown due to the second Covid-19 wave. The city transport department said that the amount will be transferred to an individual’s Aadhaar-linked bank account subject to verification of death from local bodies.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had declared on May 4 that an amount of 5,000 will be given to the PSV badge and permit holders of paratransit vehicles that mainly comprises auto rickshaws, taxis, ‘phatphat sewa‘, e-rickshaws, eco-friendly sewa, maxi cabs and Gramin sewa. Last year about 78 crore was provided as financial assistance to more than 1.56 drivers of auto rickshaws and taxis, said an official statement issued.

The Delhi government last year also started two schemes for permit holders and PSV badge holders, who lost their livelihoods when the country went into its first lockdown.

The national capital currently has more than 2.80 lakh PSV badge holders and 1.90 lakh permit holders eligible for the scheme the city’s transport department has already taken the necessary budgetary steps for the same, added the statement.

The validity of documents which includes PSV badge, permit, driving license, of all public service vehicles have been systematically extended since March 2020, based on the orders of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

The recent extension has been made till June 30, 2021, and the PSV badge and all the holders of driving license that are valid as of February 1, 2020, are eligible to get the financial assistance. However, this benefit will only be given to individual owners of para-transit vehicles and not to companies owning vehicle fleets, the statement added.

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot is of the opinion that the financial assistance would be of some help as lockdowns have had to be extended over several weeks. “Delhi government is doing everything it can to ensure the implications of a lockdown, especially among the daily wage labourers, including auto/taxi drivers, are kept to a minimum,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)