The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) has won a verdict obliging the Ministry of Interior and traffic departments to renew white taxi licences without having to receive bank notifications stating the owner’s payment of instalments, the centre announced on Tuesday.
The ECESR had originally filed an appeal in October 2014 to oblige the Ministry of Interior to renew the white taxi licences without requiring drivers or owners to submit bank statements proving regular payment of instalments for new vehicles.
After the 25 January Revolution, many taxi drivers experienced difficulties paying instalments to banks on time, due to the increased chaos, insecurity and thefts that taxis were exposed to, according to the ECESR.
In December 2014, the Ministry of Finance announced the public treasury has financially supported the project with approximately EGP 1.5bn. The announced amount represents the total funding provided for the project since its inception in 2009 until that period.
White taxi drivers were unable to renew their car licences as traffic departments required bank statements showing regular payment of instalments as a condition to renew the licence, the ECESR said. The Centre added that according to the traffic law, taxi owners are not obliged to submit bank statements.
Taxi drivers had sold old taxis to the government for EGP 5,000 in 2009, as a part of a government scheme replacing old vehicles with new ones. The government then provided the drivers with new vehicles, which cost EGP 61,000 if purchased with cash or EGP 90,000 for those who paid in instalments.
The drivers had held several protests across 2012 and 2013 as they claimed the new vehicles cost the government EGP 25,000, exempting them from tax and customs duties. The government, they claimed, profited from the drivers by selling the vehicles at an inflated price.