The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that banning all diesel-run taxis in the Delhi-National Capital Region could lead to losses of $1.2 billion (approximately Rs 7,975.25 crore) in the country's revenue if the move affected the business process outsourcing or BPO sector. “The ban would affect the business generated by inter-city cabs engaged by BPOs to ferry employees, and this could cost India $1.2 billion,” Solicitor General Ranjith Kumar told a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.
Kumar warned the court that the call centres may consider shifting their operations out of India, and added that the central government will file an application on the matter soon as it concerned the safety of call centre employees as well. He also argued that CNG-run buses cannot enter small lanes and by-lanes to drop women employees to their doorstep at night, The Times of India reported.
The apex court bench on Saturday had extended the ban on diesel cabs in the region till May 9, when the next hearing on the matter is scheduled. Diesel cab operators were asked to convert their vehicles to run on CNG by April 30. The bench also questioned the Delhi government about why pollution levels in the capital remained unchanged despite the implementation of the odd-even scheme and a ban on the entry of trucks.
Around 30,000 diesel taxis have stopped operating in Delhi following the Supreme Court verdict, the Aam Aadmi party government had said, adding that had inconvenienced many and led to law and order situations. The top court scheduled the matter for Monday, directing all parties to come prepared with suggestions to phase out diesel cabs from the national capital.