With high defaults and incomes slowly picking up, some lenders are resorting to strict collection measures, say associations that work with taxi drivers.
Shaik Salauddin, national secretary general of the Indian Federation of Application-Based Transport Workers, which claims to have more than 20,000 taxi drivers as members, said lenders have recovered vehicles in large numbers.
In the past six to seven months, more than 6,000 vehicles in India have been impounded by financiers for non-reimbursement of contributions, he said. Bastard added that business is still close to zero and that with growing debt the situation is dire for taxi drivers. Many of them have already lost their vehicles to recovering lenders, others are pledging gold and selling household items to pay off their loans, he said.
BloombergQuint could not independently verify these numbers.
Narayan and Iyer both said the lenders try to be patient.
âIt could take about a month before the collections see an improvement in the taxi driver segment. But we try to do our best to give borrowers more time to repay, and no vehicles have been repossessed from our end, âIyer said.
SBI’s Narayan also said the lender is giving its taxi driver borrowers more time to repay and is not yet resorting to vehicle auctions. “In the midst of it all, SBI in this way has been very lenient. SBI won’t like to get the message across that when people are in such distress, we go out and auction their vehicles. We will wait,” a- she declared.
According to Gala, however, repossession of vehicles may be unavoidable as recovery options are otherwise limited.
Taxi aggregators haven’t helped much either, Salauddin said.
In a written response to BloombergQuint’s question, however, a spokesperson for Uber said the company, in April of this year, offered cash incentives worth Rs 18.5 crore to its employees. drivers for the time they spent getting vaccinated, with the exception of free and partial online medical consultations. income support for people with Covid.
Uber, however, did not respond to questions about the extent of the reduction in its fleet capacity, or the number of their taxi drivers who had taken out loans to buy their cars and had their vehicles repossessed.
Ola did not answer any of BloombergQuint’s questions.