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Softbank-backed Ola seeks relief for drivers and taxi firms in India

NEW DELHI: Indian ride-hailing firm Ola, backed by Softbank Group, desires mortgage waivers for drivers and a delay in tax funds to make up for coronavirus-related misplaced earnings, in accordance with a supply and doc seen by Reuters.
India imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown from Wednesday to restrict the unfold of the virus, which has contaminated greater than 600 and claimed 10 lives in the nation of greater than 1.three billion individuals.

Ola has 1000’s of drivers in India, as does rival Uber Technologies, and desires short-term, interest-free loans for taxi aggregators to satisfy their working capital wants in addition to a six-month delay to fee of sure taxes, in accordance with a letter to India’s federal think-tank and trade foyer teams.

“Mobility as a public utility service is the worst hit during these stressed times,” Ola mentioned in the letter, contents of which have been seen by Reuters.

“The driver partners associated with ride-hailing companies who are dependent on such services for their daily livelihoods are already experiencing a near-complete loss of income.”

Ola can be in search of the federal government’s assist to safe a 12-month “holiday” on automotive mortgage repayments to ease the strain on drivers and arrange a fund for those that have misplaced their day by day earnings.

The firm additionally desires a assist fund for ride-hailing firms and relief for giant fleet operators. While Ola and Uber present livelihoods for 1000’s of drivers in India, these drivers are usually not deemed workers, which suggests they don’t obtain month-to-month salaries and a number of different employment advantages.

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