Hit hard by pandemic, drivers of Ola, Uber, Zomato demand loan moratorium

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on May 12, 2021

Seek intervention of PM, FM to get Covid cover

With a nation-wide surge in Covid-19 cases impacting their livelihoods, the Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman to either waive off or announce a moratorium on their loan payments till September 2021.

The IFAT, which represents cab drivers and delivery associates in 10 cities, has said that the second wave has made matters worse for the app-based drivers and riders’ community.

Increased risk

They wanted the Government to direct the app-based cab-hailing firms and e-commerce firms to immediately provide economic relief of ₹1,175 a day for cab drivers and ₹675 a day to the food delivery riders to help them tide over the crisis triggered by the pandemic.

The federation represents 10 affiliate bodies with an aggregate membership of over 35 lakh drivers working for different app-based services firms such as Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo and Shadowfax.

“Our affiliates in over 10 cities have reported cases of increased risk and casualties among their members as they continue to service customers in all the top Covid-affected cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad,” Prashant Sawardekar and Shaik Salauddin, the National President and General Secretary, respectively, of the IFAT, have said in the memorandum.

They alleged that the app-based firms have neither acknowledged nor responded to their appeals to provide relief to their workers.

Calling for the Government intervention in extending financial relief to the workers, the federation wanted benefits under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for the all app-based transport and delivery workers.

The federation wanted waiver of taxes and fees for commercial vehicles operated by its members.

“The app-based transport companies need to ensure payment of over 80 per cent of the fare goes to the drivers,” it said.

PPE kits & vaccines sought

The IFAT leaders demanded the firms to provide proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to all drivers, besides giving them Covid vaccines.

They also wanted the firms to provide a health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh and a life insurance cover of ₹10 lakh for its members. “We appeal to government to pay a compensation of ₹15 lakh each to the kin of drivers that succumbed to Covid-19,” they said.

Published on May 11, 2021

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