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Mian Zahid condemns PSE attack, pays tribute to Police, Rangers

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday condemned the cowardly attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE).

Those who foiled the attack are our heroes and their families deserve all the possible support, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Director General Rangers Major General Umar Bukhari, Karachi Police Chief Ghulam Nabi Memon and DIG South Sharjeel Kharal played a very active role during the episode and frustrated the terrorists within eleven minutes.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that attack indicate a change in the mind set of terrorists and now they are not targeting security forces or civilians but the economy.

The former minister noted that terrorists wanted to hit the fragile economy, sentiments of the business community to stop local and foreign investments while

Damaging CPEC is high on their agenda.

He said that terrorists targeted the economic nerve centre of the country while the conspiracy was hatched in a neighbouring country which failed due to the courage of policemen and private security guards.

They wanted to kill employees of the PSE and take noted local and foreign investors as hostage to make a mockery of Pakistan on international level.

He said that a terrorist group in Karachi which is dancing on the tunes of an enemy country has also conducted some small terrorist activities to please their masters and send a message.

The regional tensions between China and India has resulted in global shame for Modi after which New Delhi has targeted Pakistan which calls for enhanced surveillance and improved counter-terrorism measures.

He said that a neighbouring country is trying to unite all the terrorists, militants and separatists on a platform to achieve the aim of destabilising Pakistan but they are not aware of the fact that Pakistani institutions are ready to foil unholy designs of the enemy states.

Pakistan Cables partners with Karachi relief trust pledges rs 2 million towards coronavirus relief efforts

Pakistan Cables has pledged to support coronavirus relief efforts to help flatten the curve. The commitment includes a donation of Rs. 2 million towards coronavirus relief efforts led by Karachi Relief Trust (KRT). KRT is distributing food ration to families, in Karachi and parts of Sindh, whose livelihoods are being impacted by the pandemic.

The Company is investing in a digital public awareness campaign. Through digital messaging, the company logo has been expressing solidarity with the nation by supporting the message that social distancing, to whatever extent possible, is a critical precaution. The Company in its message has also paid tribute to the frontline heroes, combating the coronavirus head on.

Fahd K. Chinoy, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Cables Limited said, “This is the time for the business community to respond with a higher sense of duty and collaborate with welfare organizations and the government. Since our inception in 1955, we have witnessed varied crises in the nation’s history. Today we stand ever committed to ensure that we promote prevention and safety for everyone.”

Revive agriculture sector and conduct livestock census, demands Mian Zahid

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday demanded steps to revive the agriculture sector.

The virus has spared this important sector as compared to industry and services etc. which has increased its share in GDP from the industrial sector, he said.

Livestock which is 60 percent of the agriculture sector has surpassed all major and medium industries but locust has minimized chances for rapid growth, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that country is awaiting a livestock census since the last fifteen years which should be conducted without delay.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that locust has damaged cotton, sugar and other crops and a second wave is possible while the federal and provincial governments have failed to decide jurisdiction.

The demand for cotton witnessed a steep fall during the last fiscal due to lockdown and ginners still have 1.5 million unsold bales which will act as disincentive for growers.

The former minister noted we are missing cotton target for years while the last year’s target will be missed by around seven million bales which will hurt the economy therefore the provision of seed, fertilizer, water, insecticides should be ensured while reducing federal and provincial taxes.

Government should consider support price for cotton and increase allocation for crop and livestock insurance and credit guarantee schemes from the current Rs1.6 billion.

He said that wheat plays the most important role in the national food security but it’s per acre yield could not be improved during the last eleven years while the population continues to explode.

Two thirds of businesses need to look beyond the financial imperative in post Covid-19 world: ACCA, PWC

Research from ACCA and PwC shows two-thirds of organisations need to embed finance business partnering further into strategy and decision making.

Companies are being urged to look beyond the financial imperative as economies around the world look to kickstart as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Insights – Reimagined, a new report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and PwC, surveyed more than 3,400 firms on the changing role of the finance professional and how they can influence companies’ future direction.

The report highlights the greater focus on the finance business partner (FBP): individuals, or a group of individuals, who are the conduit between finance and its stakeholders. It outlines how they can help companies navigate turbulent economic times.

Results show finance business partnering was a proactive role in organisations, a fundamental part of decision-making and strategy. However, only 37% reported that it was truly embedded and that the remaining 63% are compromising their agility to support and influence business decision-making at this critical time.

The report outlines the FBP will be more commonplace than other finance roles as a result of automation and process efficiency. It also envisages the role of the partner will become more strategic and collaborative to support operational decision-making across the organisation.

Clive Webb, senior insights manager at ACCA, says finance business partnering is a key consideration for firms seeking survival and a more sustainable future ahead of an impending recession. He said: ‘There is a temptation in responding to the COVID-19 events, as organisations and economies seek to recover, that the sole focus is on the financial imperative. “This approach could ignore the dangers society will continue to face and may lead to narrow responses to broader issues that are connected to the financial performance. To respond to this, accountancy and finance professionals need to have a robust skill set and must show they can play an ever-important role in driving business performance.”

Mr Webb concluded: “The two most valued aspects in the role were the support of business strategy and the analysis of current performance; this suggests that finance professionals might not yet be achieving the forward-looking view on which the future of the finance function depends. The six hypotheses generated in this report allow businesses, both large and small, to explore the opportunity for finance insights and the role of business partners in generating sustainable value creation.”

Brian Furness, Partner at PwC, underlined the importance of the six capitals identified in the report in future planning. He said: “The six capitals — financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and responsible, and natural — which are outlined in the report, provide a unique framework to evaluate how any finance function is performing. “In response to COVID-19, and by using this framework, CFO’s will be able to make sense out of the current situation, and plan successfully for the future.’”

Failed state-run corporations slaying people, economy: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said failed state-run companies continue to damage the country.

The matter should be resolved otherwise, the economy will never take off and the country will remain dependent on loans for survival, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain masses have to pay trillion to keep these dysfunctional units running and keep jobs of the incompetent and corrupt.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that World Bank in a recent report said that power sector gobbled up 45 billion dollars in a decade and that cost of power production is 25 percent higher in Pakistan as compared to regional countries because of wrong power purchase agreements.

The former minister noted actual losses of the power sector may be double than the cited figure and the circular debt has increased to 2.2 trillion rupees despite the tall claims of ministers.

He said that dysfunctional power distribution companies was a gift to people of Pakistan by the former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz which has become a drag on the economy as their average losses are around 17.7 percent.

The business leader noted that the technical and commercial losses of the distribution companies are running in billions which the government also pay billions in fine to IPPs due to late payments.

Policy of generating power from costly imported fuel has also dented masses and the economy significantly, he said, adding that power tariff should be adjusted according to ground realities and losses should be reduced by increasing transparency otherwise the power sector will bankrupt the country.

Hyundai donates 3,000 protective suits to Pakistan to help fight COVID-19

Hyundai Motor Company is to donate medical equipment and personal protection items worth over $2.4 million to countries across the Middle East and Africa in an effort to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan is one of the 37 countries that will benefit with Hyundai contributing 3,000 protective suits worth $66,000 that will assist the front-line medical workers and the public during these unprecedented times.

The contribution is part of Hyundai’s commitment to support those in need in the region. All the equipment will be distributed by the respective government and non-government organizations.

In recent weeks, Hyundai has helped those in need around the world through donations and contributing medical equipment and personal protection items.

Bang Sun Jeong, Vice President, Head of Hyundai Motor Company Middle East & Africa HQs, said: “Caring for humanity has always been at the heart of Hyundai’s vision and having assisted those in need in countries around the world, we are proud to expand our support to countries across the Middle East and Africa region that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. “The contributions of personal protection items are another step forward of making a positive difference and we believe if we work together, we can overcome anything. “We hope this pandemic can soon come to an end and we can help people get back to their daily lives.”

Raza Mansha, Chairman, Board of Directors, Hyundai Nishat Motor (Private) Limited, handed over the donation of 3,000 PPE’s to Mayo Hospital, Lahore, and said “we are offering our heroes/hospital staff the required equipment to further strengthen the capacity in the fight against COVID-19.”

Among Hyundai’s initiatives to tackle COVID-19 globally include delivering emergency supplies to medical facilities in China, offering free transportation for the elderly and healthcare professionals in Brazil and providing a fleet of its vehicles to volunteers and self-isolating customers in the UK.

Regional countries managing economy better than Pakistan: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said the increased focus on debt reduction and revenue generation has damaged the economy.

Coronavirus and subsequent lockdowns have damaged all the economies but authorities are more interested in fixing unachievable tax targets which will further grind down economy, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that India, Bangladesh, Nepal and many other regional countries are facing debt problem since decades but their governments have not mismanaged the problem.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that regional countries are dealing with debt and current account deficit in a better way which is evident from their economic success.

The former minister noted that during the last 32 years Pakistan has approached IMF for 13 times to avoid bankruptcy, Sri Lana has borrowed for six times, Bangladesh has taken IMF loan four times while India has sought IMF money only for one time which proves that their economic management is better than Pakistan.

The regional countries have used IMF money for development which helped them transform their countries as economic powerhouses while we have wasted the borrowed money.

Not only regional economies but developed national like the US and the UK are also facing deficit problems but it has not unnerved their governments and economic managers to damage their own economy.

He said that the government should not panic about deficits, it should reduce tax collection targets and provide enabling environment to investors who can put the economy back on track and making Pakistan a developed nation.

IBA Karachi launches 2-year Master of Science in Data Science

The IBA Karachi is pleased to announce the launch of Master of Science in Data Science program commencing in August 2020, which comprises of 4 semesters with a total of 30 credit hours. The MS leading to the PhD program will allow the students to opt for a thesis alongside their course work.

The program designed by the Faculty of Computer Science (FCS) is aimed to facilitate students with non-Computer Science background as well and foundation level courses will be offered to enable students to come at par with their peers.

The academic rigour coupled with experiential learning will prepare the students in the field of machine learning, statistics and big data analytics.

Chairperson, Department of Computer Science, Dr Shakeel Khoja elaborated that the program offers clear understanding in areas of statistical modelling, management of massive data sets, data visualization, software engineering and data ethics. “The program prepares students to extract valuable insights from data, and offers rigorous training to handle problems of big data,” said Dr Khoja.

Commenting on the program launch, Executive Director, IBA, Dr S. Akbar Zaidi said, “The advancement in artificial intelligence, communications and robotics across the globe has led to the high demand of data scientists. Although Pakistan lies at the onset of this development, an increasing need is being felt in the software industry and service sectors like financial institutions, telecommunication organizations, healthcare providers and multi-nationals to produce trained workforce.”

Dr Zaidi highlighted that this market-driven program would set a new benchmark for other universities.

With the addition of Data Science program, the IBA Karachi is now offering 9 graduate programs alongside 6 undergraduate and 3 postgraduate programs. The admission to various programs for Fall 2020 is currently open.

ACCA, ICMA Pakistan to deliver IPSAS training to public sector professionals

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Institute of Cost Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMA Pakistan) have now joined forces by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly train the public sector professionals in Pakistan on IPSAS®, the international accrual-based accounting standards, to enhance the quality, consistency and transparency of public sector financial reporting in Pakistan and help rebuild the public trust.

The announcement was made at a Virtual MoU signing ceremony on the theme ‘The Importance of Strengthening of Public Sector Institutions’. The ceremony was attended by senior members of both the professional bodies, as well as by senior public sector leaders including Abdul Ghafoor Khan, Rector, Pakistan Audit & Accounts Academy, Dr Jawad Zaka Khan, Deputy Military Accountant General Pakistan, Sumaira K Aslam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Umar Banoori, DG Accounts, Controller General of Accounts Pakistan, Zia Ul Mustafa, President, ICMA Pakistan, and Sajjeed Aslam, Head of ACCA Pakistan.

Under this partnership, a certificate in IPSAS, will be delivered jointly by ACCA and ICMA Pakistan to finance professionals working in the public sector or aspiring to join the sector in the near future.

Speaking at the event, ACCA’s Head of Pakistan, Sajjeed Aslam, said: “The Public Sector is facing a dizzying array of challenges, from declining public trust to technological disruption, that require innovative responses. The current pandemic has added an unprecedented pressure on the sector to deliver public services in the most effective manner. Therefore, there’s an urgent need for radical reforms and improved capacity. ACCA as a global force for public good is delighted to have signed this MOU with ICMA Pakistan. This is just another example of our commitment to strengthening the public sector in Pakistan, working in partnership with all the stakeholders, and upholding the public trust in the accountancy profession.”

Addressing the ceremony, Zia Ul Mustafa, President, ICMA Pakistan, said: “ICMA Pakistan is pleased to partner with ACCA to train public sector organisations in IPSAS with the goal of improving transparency and accountability, as well as the adoption of an accrual-based public financial reporting framework. The objectives are to be met by strengthening existing financial institutions within the Government of Pakistan and delivering knowledge to public sector accountants while developing the country’s public sector accountancy capacity. This MoU with the objective of enhancing public financial management will assist public sector set ups in gearing up to meet the new demands of the augmented role of the public sector organisations in providing development finance solutions for effective performance.”

Issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), IPSAS® are cash-based standards and accruals standards used for the preparation of general purpose financial statements by governments and other public sector entities around the world.

Mian Zahid pushes for enabling environment for export increase
  • Says business community speak well of new FBR chief

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said boosting production and exports in the absence of enabling environment and delay in refund payments is self-deception. The business community is facing a demand shock amid unfavourable circumstances, virus disruption and increasing energy prices, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that exporters are facing issues like non-payment of refunds, delayed payment by importers and liquidity crunch which is bankrupting them.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said the largest export earner sector of textile is also facing serious issues which should be resolved otherwise there will be no benefit of reducing interest rates.

The former minister noted existing conditions may result in the closure of industrial unite to fan unemployment as the calls of exporters to restore zero-rating is falling on deaf ears.

He said that ministers and FBR officials have repeatedly claimed that refunds would be paid within 72 hours because of new system Faster but it has not come true. The new system remains out of the order and presently it is not working for a month.

The new system should be scrapped as it has not served anyone and exporters are facing problems to fulfil their commitments. Many exporters are getting costly loans from the market to keep their reputation.

He said that local investors are facing many problems which must be resolved otherwise it will be increasingly difficult to lure foreign investors.

He said the new Chairman FBR Javed Ghani is a senior and honest officer and the business community supports his appointment. If he is allowed to work, he will transform the institution for good increasing revenue and resolving outstanding issues of the business community.

Indus Motor Company donates Rs 10m to Indus hospital

Indus Motor Company (IMC), manufacturers of Toyota vehicles in Pakistan, has released a Corporate Philanthropy of Rs. 10 million to Indus Hospital to help them become more effective in providing quality treatment to the underprivileged and downtrodden community, particularly during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

A cheque was handed over by CEO IMC, Ali Asghar Jamali to CEO Indus Hospital, Dr. Abdul Bari Khan in a brief ceremony held at Indus Hospital.

IMC CEO Mr. Ali Asghar Jamali, said, “We believe that hospitals are an essential part in our national framework that helps to combat health and hygiene related problems of the entire population, particularly during this pandemic. Keeping in view of IMC’s responsibility to the society, the organization puts its best efforts to give back to the community, especially the health sector which faces many different challenges and is in constant need of attention during these unprecedented times.” He further added, “Indus Hospital is doing an honorable job to connect necessary provisions with the under-privileged and it is an honor for us to lend a helping hand in this cause.”

Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Bari Khan of Indus Hospital appreciated the generosity of Indus Motor and its support for the community. He further said, “We are grateful for IMC’s support towards Indus Hospital in our work to help the disempowered factions of our community avail higher standards of healthcare services with convenience.”

Hospitals, blood banks and health care institutions in Pakistan receive frequent donations from IMC to successfully provide continuous services to the needy communities.

NBP funds pays Rs 668 crores dividends

NBP Funds announced that it has paid dividends of Rs. 668 crores to unit holders of its open-end mutual funds and plans in FY 2019-20.

NBP Funds is one of the leading Asset Management Company (AMC) in Pakistan, offering saving and investment solutions including Shariah Compliant products to investors to help them meet their financial goals. It has the highest achievable investment management rating of AM1 (Very High Quality) by PACRA.

Beaconhouse opens first fully virtual ‘school of tomorrow’ conference
  • Over 60 international thought leaders in 21 live sessions will speak at the conference.

Beaconhouse is launching its first fully virtual School of Tomorrow (SOT) Conference: A World of Tomorrow: Negotiating a Better Future on July 10-12, 2020, made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor UBL.

Targeting a global audience of over 500,000 people, the SOT seeks to understand how COVID-19 is shaping important global conversations about safer and more balanced futures, as well as pushing educators to reimagine the future of education at both school and university levels.

The conference opens with a special message by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Federal Minister of Education, Shafqat Mahmood, and Sindh Minister of School Education, Saeed Ghani, are amongst key Pakistani speakers. Global participants include Andreas Schleicher, OECD’s Head of Education & Skills, Carla Rinaldi, President Fondazione Reggio Children, and Lord Jim Knight, UK’s former Minister of State for Schools along with two other members of UK’s House of Lords, Lord David Puttnam and Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, a life peer of Pakistani origin. Other key speakers include Professor Maggie Atkinson, former Children’s Commissioner for England and Dr Siva Kumari, Director General of the International Baccalaureate Organization, amongst many others.

The three-day virtual conference is anchored on the idea of a ‘brave new world’ being shaped by our response to the pandemic and will be streamed live on www.sotevents.com along with Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, and is primarily aimed at parents, educators and policy-makers. Registration is free of cost for all.

Speaking about the conference, Kasim Kasuri, Event Chair and CEO of Beaconhouse, said “The present crisis presents an unprecedented opportunity to us to reimagine the kind of future we truly want, and what we need to do to get there.”

SOT Events are made possible by the generous support of corporate sponsors. The organisers acknowledge the support of United Bank Limited as the Lead Sponsor for SOT Edition XI.

The non-profit School of Tomorrow Event Series was launched in 2000 and is organised by Beaconhouse as part of its ongoing commitment to its social responsibility.

IBA implements financial relief plan during COVID-19

Under the Sindh COVID-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance 2020, certain relief measures shall be provided to the affected people of the province of Sindh including a reduction in monthly fees to students to the extent of 20%. Having a long and formidable record of providing extensive financial and non-financial support to its students, the IBA will not only continue this tradition, but in line with the Government of Sindh’s recommendations, further enhance its contribution to deserving students. By being focused in providing relief to the COVID-19 affected students and their families, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi has taken a number of key initiatives, a few of them are as follows:

  • For the coming academic year 2020-21, the IBA has increased its financial assistance budget by 25% to meet the needs of the students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will cover around 30% of the full-time students under IBA financial assistance programs, including scholarship awards ranging from 25% to 100% of the fee, depending on the assessed need level.

  • IBA’s financial assistance program is now budgeted at Rs. 380 million for the FY 2020-21.

  • A need-based evaluation criterion now accommodates COVID-19 affected students as well as provides relief in the form of need-based scholarships awards in a range of 25% to 100%.

  • All semesters, including the summer semester, are now covered for awarding need-based scholarships. In the past, scholarships were provided for regular semesters only.

  • Need-based scholarships may be awarded to full time students with even one course enrolment. In the past, these scholarships were restricted to full time students enrolled against semester fee only.

  • Special options for fee deferment/instalment plans have also been provided to students.

  • The unutilized portion of the students’ activity charges, examination charges, hostel and transportation fee are being refunded to the students for the year in progress.

The IBA remains committed to ensuring that students do not suffer due to financial constraints and through substantial and generous support, a maximum number of students get the opportunity to study at one of Pakistan’s leading educational institutions.

Chairman NHA holds e-kachehri through NHA official facebook page

In line with directive of Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan on reaching out to the public through holding Khuli Kachehris by organizations under the Federal Government, Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Capt (retired) Sikander Qayyum held E-Kachehri at head office of the Authority through NHA official Facebook Page and answered to the questions placed by the people all over the country.

In his opening remarks Chairman NHA Capt (retired) Sikander Qayyum informed that NHA is endeavoring to generate required funds from its own resources for construction and maintenance of motorways and national highways throughout the country. He said participation of private sector in road building projects is encouraging for us. He said, affairs and schemes of the Authority are being run in professional style. During 2019-20, Rs. 158 billion were provided to NHA which are utilized as per priorities of the government and importance of the projects.

Speaking about the significance of road maintenance, he said in 2018-19, Rs. 33 billion were allocated for Annual Maintenance Plan, while Rs. 34 billion were allocated in 2019-20 for Annual Maintenance Plan and that both the plans are being implemented gradually.

Such E-Kacheris will also be held at NHA Zonal offices located in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Uber rolls out enhanced safety measures amid COVID-19 outbreak

As the government begins to ease off lockdown and workplaces slowly resume operations, Uber Pakistan’s #MoveWithSafety campaign aims to educate and raise awareness of the additional safety measures it has put in, in order to help the app’s users stay safe.

Uber partner drivers in Pakistan will be asked, as part of a new in-app safety checklist, to verify that they are wearing a mask using their new object recognition technology. Any driver who is not wearing a mask or a face covering will not be able to go online. Drivers can cancel the ride if a rider is not wearing a mask, without incurring a penalty. Partner drivers will also be asked to confirm if they have taken additional safety measures, such as regularly sanitizing their car and making hand sanitizers available for their riders. Riders will also be able to cancel rides, without incurring penalties, if drivers aren’t wearing masks.

Similarly, riders will be asked whether they have taken necessary safety precautions, like washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation. Only two riders per car will be allowed, in line with government regulations in Sindh and Peshawar, and three riders per car in Punjab and the Federal Capital.

Globally, Uber is investing $50 million to help ensure every driver and courier has access to personal protective equipment, and cleaning and sanitizing supplies needed to work more safely on the Uber app. This includes providing masks to drivers across Pakistan and reimbursing eligible drivers and couriers for the purchase of a sanitizer or disinfectant product of their choice up to a maximum amount which is defined for each country. So far, Uber has provided or reimbursed hand sanitizers, cleaning sprays and disinfectant wipes to drivers in Pakistan, as well as over 20,000 masks. It is also partnering with Unilever to distribute hygiene kits to drivers and couriers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Saad N. Pall, General Manager at Uber Pakistan said, “At Uber, we put safety at the heart of everything we do and we believe technology can make travel safer than ever before. Now, as cities begin to reopen, we want to ensure that both riders and drivers recognize that they have a shared responsibility to make travel safer, and enough flexibility to manage this, while prioritizing health and safety. Governments as well as the private sector across the globe are continually working to assess and adapt a world post the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to use the scale and influence of our platform to proactively complement the government’s efforts to help everyone stay safe and healthy.”

Previously, Uber also announced the launch of Uber Medics in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as part of its global commitment to Move What Matters, providing healthcare workers with discounted trips to and from their workplaces. Additionally, ‘Uber By the Hour’ offers riders with an hourly ride option, without having to re-request a trip at each location — strengthening safety, providing additional flexibility for riders and an additional earnings opportunity for drivers.

Other safety initiatives announced in light of COVID-19 include:

  • New health and hygiene feedback system: Uber is adding new options for feedback in the app. This includes an option to report if a rider or driver is wearing a mask or not. Anyone who is repeatedly flagged for violating the new safety policies risks losing access to Uber’s apps.

  • Safety education materials: Working with the World Health Organization and the latest public health advice, Uber has compiled safety tips and recommendations specifically geared toward ridesharing. This will be used to educate riders and drivers on unsafe behavior.

  • Financial Compensation: Financial assistance will be provided for up to 14 days to any driver who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority while their account is on hold.

These new safety measures will stay in effect until the end of July, when they will be reviewed based on the latest official health guidance.

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