A contentious proposal to provide an unlimited number of taxi licences has been rejected. The Transport Advisory Committee yesterday ruled out the move, one of a series of options proposed to control spiralling taxi licence speculation. The industry has complained of licences being sold second hand for up to $3.5 million, despite their $1.7 million price tag at the last tender in September 1994. Drivers and operators fear licences may rise to $4 million by the year's end. The proposals were among several suggestions from the industry and experts on improving taxi services, which will go to public consultation next month. But committee chairman Dr Cheng Hon-kwan said there was no evidence to suggest increases in licence premiums were prompting fare increases. He said the move would hurt the industry as driver supply would out number passenger demand. The number of complaints against the industry increased over the last 12 months. Taxis made up 51.7 per cent of the 9,667 complaints about public transport, 3.6 per cent higher then the previous year. Dr Cheng said the complaints were mostly over drivers tampering with meters, refusing hire, overcharging and obnoxious behaviour. The Transport Department will spend about $10 million building shelters for 24 taxi stands over the next year.