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Uber legal in Bangladesh: Official

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FT ONLINE

An Uber regional official in charge of Bangladesh has said the company runs “legal” in the country, as the government is yet to decide on policies regarding app-based ride hailing services.

Pradeep Parameswaran, head of Central Operation, Uber India and South Asia, said, “We are legal.”

He said this while replying to a question in Dhaka on Sunday, a year after the launch of the services in Bangladesh.

Within six months, Dhaka has become one of the fast-growing Uber-using cities in the Asia-Pacific.

Local app-based services like Pathao also started operations in the country after Uber came in.

However, the Road Transport authorities had said in the beginning that the services are illegal and started a process to devise guidelines for the services.

“Uber Bangladesh is a registered entity, it’s a legal entity. We operate within the laws of the country,” Parameswaran said. He added that Uber hopes that the policy will be clarified in the coming months.

“We are hopeful that will come out quickly and that will help to accelerate the industry. Our experience in Bangladesh is very positive,” the official said in the anniversary event.

Pradeep however, declined to comment on the earnings in one year, saying they were still in the investment phase.

Parameswaran also welcomed local app-based services saying that they alone cannot replace private cars and everyone’s assistance is appreciated.

Uber plans to expand its services to Chittagong and Sylhet and introduce UberPool that matches a user with riders heading in the same direction, which will reduces the cost and the rides can be shared.

He said the Uber price is higher in Bangladesh, compared to other markets because of the high car prices.

Earlier, President of the Uber India & South Asia Amit Jain, Parameswaran, and General Manager of Uber East India & Dhaka Arpit Mundra spoke at a press briefing marking Uber’s first anniversary in Dhaka.

More than 200,000 people took Uber trips in November alone, said the company without providing any cumulative figure of the year.

More than 10,000 active car drivers operate under the Uber network every month to cover the city with 20 million people.

An Uber was requested 1.5 million times in November alone.

They have launched new products such as UberPremier and UberMoto in the first year of their operations in Bangladesh.

Uber Technologies Inc, a transportation technology company headquartered in San Francisco, operates in 633 cities worldwide but recently it was criticised for massive data security breach.

Three senior managers resigned on Friday after the disclosure of the 2016 data breach, which compromised data belonging to 57 million customers and about 600,000 drivers.

-SAM

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