Uber drivers receive first batch of grants from Rs 25 Cr coronavirus relief package
The San Francisco-based ride-hailing platformannounced that the driver-partners on its platform have started receiving the first batch of grants from Rs 25 crore deposited by Uber into the Uber Care Driver Fund. The fund has been created in partnership with the social enterprises Give India and Samhita.
The Uber Care Driver Fund is directly transferring small grants into the accounts of thousands of driver-partners every day to help them meet their immediate and essential family needs. Over the next few days, Uber is also rolling out a Hospital Cash Insurance policy which will benefit driver-partners, and cover COVID-19 and other illnesses which require hospitalisation for up to 14 days.
Announcing the details of the financial package in a press statement, Pradeep Parameswaran, President, Uber India and South Asia, said,
“Driver-partners are at the heart of our business and I have always said there is no Uber without drivers. Supporting driver communities has never been more important. We hope this first financial relief package for driver-partners helps them and their families cover their immediate and urgent daily needs. In the coming days and weeks, we will first be fundraising, and then providing driver-partners additional outright grants, from the Uber Care Driver Fund. Today, I’m appealing to millions of our riders, corporate partners, philanthropists, as well as the general public to support our efforts and truly show they care.’’
The ride-hailing giant aims to raise an additional Rs 25 crore to reach a combined target of Rs 50 crore through contributions from employees, CSR funds, riders, and citizens through a partnership with the crowdfunding organisation Milaap.
Uber employees have already contributed Rs 17 lakh to the fund. The fund will also disburse grants to UberMedic, Uber Essential, and Uber’s last-mile delivery service drivers, who have recently been transporting frontline workers, providing essential rides to the elderly, and moving everyday supplies to thousands of homes for helping contain the spread of COVID-19 across India.
The additional measures announced on Thursday are:
- Uber commissions: Uber is not charging any commissions from a majority of UberMedic and all Uber delivery service driver-partners, enabling them to keep 100 percent of billed amounts.
- Uber Care Micro-Credit: Uber is working with its micro-credit partners to remove any penalties that may be imposed on delayed payments, as well as defaults related to Uber Care-facilitated loans during the next two months.
- Free Medical Consultations: Through its partnership with DocsApp, Uber is helping driver-partners and their families access free unlimited consultation from doctors on call, along with up to 20 percent discount on medicines and up to 40 percent discount on lab tests anywhere in India.
- EMI Relief: Uber is working with both regulators and financiers to ensure driver-partners receive financial relief as soon as possible, following the RBI’s directive.
- Exemption of lease rentals for XLI: XLI (an Uber group company) has exempted, until further notice, lease rental payments.
(Edited by Suman Singh)