Tech-enabled mobility service provider Uber released a report on the economic impact of the platform in Bangladesh as Bangladesh Bank is scrutinising foreign currency transactions of the international company with offshore accounts.
Highlighting the transformational impact of the ride sharing, the American company unveiled the 2021 Economic Impact Report at a function at the Westin Dhaka on Sunday.
A high level team of the global platform is now visiting Dhaka to discuss with the government on possible solutions on the embargo from Bangladesh Bank on digital payment on allegation of transaction with offshore accounts illegally.
From Uber, Asia Pacific Region’s Public Policy and Government Relations Senior Director Mike Orgill, South Asia regional operations Director Shiva Shailendran and Bangladesh operations head Armanur Rahman were also present on the occasion.
In the report, the company claimed that the ride sharing platform has created an impact in Bangladesh economy worth $45 billion in 2021.
Around 73 percent of driver-partners said they were satisfied with Uber in 2021. It helps them earn an additional Tk 522 million in higher income through Uber or an average of 26 percent more than their next best alternative source of income or work.
Uber saves riders over 17 million hours a year. In fact, as per Bangladeshi riders, ridesharing is the most significant transport innovation they have experienced.
Commenting on the report, Senior Director Mike Orgill said Uber has been an important engine of economic growth and opportunity in Bangladesh since 2016, but we never knew the extent of our contribution.
Uber launched the report when Bangladesh Bank made an embargo on a bank-card link with Uber App which allegedly transferred money to offshore accounts in the Netherlands.
“We are continuing discussion with the government to solve the issue,” Mike Orgill, Senior Director, Public Policy and Government Relations for Asia Pacific Region at Uber, said while replying to a question about the suspension of bank card linkage on the app.
Recently, Bangladesh Bank has directed the commercial banks to halt card linkage with Uber App as the
foreign company directly shifted the money to offshore accounts in the Netherlands. Banks also asked customers to refrain from paying Uber fares to cards and mobile financial services also delinked their service with the platform.
Foreign Exchange Policy Department of Bangladesh Bank is observing the transactions of Uber on allegations of offshore accounts to avoid local taxation.
“The central bank is analysing the transaction of Uber. If there is any possibilities of money laundering in their foreign exchange transaction, off course, there will be actions,” Serajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank, told the Daily Sun.
Earlier in 2019, an investigation of the central bank revealed that Uber siphoned off at least $8.41 lakh off to the Netherlands using cards of 10 commercial banks.