Online network to help auto drivers fight app monopoly – ET Auto

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New Delhi: Delhi government will promote Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), which is a government network based on open protocol that enables local commerce across segments, in order to help auto drivers fight digital monopoly.

Government of India launched the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) in 2022 to create a level playing field for e-commerce giants as there have been complaints by drivers in the past of unfair trade practices.

The first such application, Namma Yatri, an application for auto drivers was flagged off in the city on Tuesday by transport minister Kailash Gahlot and transport commissioner Ashish Kundra. Officials said they were in talks with more applications to launch their services on the ONDC platform.”

Gahlot said: “Auto drivers used to come to me and say that the government should make an application for them, but we understand that making an app is easy but running it is difficult.”

He said: “There is a need to give confidence to drivers that their money will reach them. These drivers cannot fight with everyone. If there is transparency and more applications come on to the ONDC network, then it will give confidence to drivers.”

The minister said that bringing ONDC to Delhi “will bring autos and other digital platforms to Delhiites’ fingertips. We believe this will be a game changer in multi-modal integration in the future. Their focus on empowering drivers and boosting the last-mile connectivity ecosystem is commendable.”

Transport commissioner Ashish Kundra said ONDC has started breaking the (digital) monopoly and there has been democratisation. “The drivers… were often in doubt on whether they should join dominating market players and if they would face losses,” he said.

Officials in the department said they were in talks with more players and with some,it was at an advanced stage.

T Koshy, managing director of ONDC, said: “This platform works in an open network, which means that when other players come on this application, one will be able to see all the services by logging in through any application.”

The network of the non-profit company that runs the ONDC project currently displays products and services from all participating e-commerce platforms in search results across all apps on its network.

Kishan Verma, president of the All-Delhi Auto Taxi Transport Congress Union, said: “Our main concern is that we should not be charged a large commission and our money should come immediately to us, not through a third party.”

  • Published On Jan 17, 2024 at 09:04 AM IST

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