The Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT) has reportedly asked the government to let go of the interest in the three-month moratorium. Furthermore, it has also sought an extension of an interest-free EMI moratorium till December 2020.
The IFAT cited the difficulty drivers would face in rebuilding their lives after the coronavirus pandemic as the extended nationwide lockdown has destabilised their livelihoods.
The association conducted two surveys to assess the financial condition of drivers. Over 6,500 cab who drive cabs via app-based requests in 66 cities across 15 states were covered in the two surveys, said a report by The Hindu BusinessLine. The survey was followed by an interview with drivers from 10 cities.
The outcome of these surveys suggested drivers wanting the government to advise banks and NBFCs to forego interest payments for three months and extend the EMI repayment moratorium to December 2020.
Further, these respondents wanted the state governments to extend the validity of their vehicle insurance and other related documents like licence and registration by three months as they might face trouble to pay for these additional expenses.
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“It will take many months for the drivers to rebuild their lives and repay other loans taken during the lockdown. The government needs to acknowledge this and help the drivers,” said Kamaljeet Singh, Vice-President of IFAT.
Shaik Salauddin, National General Secretary of the IFAT added, “It's clear from our surveys that the drivers are under severe financial stress and they will need economic assistance from both the State and the app-based companies they work for in order to make sure that their jobs are still economically viable after the lockdown.”According to the report, 51 percent of the respondents of the two surveys had taken loans ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 from 19 public sector institutions like private and cooperative banks, NBFCs, etc.