Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to ban surge pricing in Delhi has polarized citizens and online commentators alike. While his supporters claim that surge pricing was exploitative and amounted to price gouging, several people believe that the Delhi government is not being wise in interfering with the functioning of free markets.
Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, has come out strongly against his detractors. In a characteristically blunt Facebook post, the Delhi Chief Minister minced no words while speaking out against surge pricing. Kejriwal also alleged that a “media house” that was criticising his move has a vested interest in the matter. Bennet Coleman & Co, the parent company of the Times Group, is one of the investors in Uber.
And Kejriwal appears to have put his money where his mouth is – 18 cabs belonging to Uber and Ola were impounded yesterday in the city for overcharging customers.
However, commuters aren’t convinced that banning surge will help with Delhi’s traffic woes. Several people took to twitter yesterday, claiming that they weren’t able to find cabs in the city. Uber too slyly sent messages to its passengers, saying that if they were having trouble finding cabs, it was likely because of the government’s ban.
But with Kejriwal doubling down on his attacks on surge pricing, it looks like the ban is here to stay – for now.