Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GPST) has appealed to the government to look into providing more welfare to taxi drivers in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order (MCO).

Among the proposals put forth include imposing a zero or a minimum tax rate on taxi companies for the remainder of the year to provide companies time to recover from the fallout, which is claimed to take more than six months.

Additionally, GPST wants the government to extend assistance to SMEs to include all taxi companies regardless of their paid-up capital. This is because some taxi companies do not fall under the SME category as their paid-up capital exceeds more than RM2.5 million, making them ineligible for such benefits.

The coalition is also thankful to the government for the one-off payments of RM500 to e-hailing drivers and RM600 to taxi drivers, both announced as part of an economic stimulus package.

However, GPST is seeking additional subsidies from PERKESO to help employees of taxi companies who are not drivers but have a role to play in the supporting the industry. It adds that at this point in time, employees of taxi companies who are not drivers are to accept minimum salaries rather than being retrenched or laid off.

In an official statement, the coalition, which represents over 100 taxi companies in the country, said that earnings have dropped by approximately 90% in March. Moving forward, it expects zero or minimal revenue for the next few months from April onwards.

Given the circumstances, GPST also suggested three possible financial relief solutions for member companies to provide to taxi drivers during the MCO period, which are subject to the conditions stipulated in each driver’s contract.

These include deferring, discounting, or doing away with taxi rental fees during these trying times. It adds that there will be there will be no repossession of taxis during the MCO period.