Ahok Says Jakarta Won't Hesitate to Take Uber Cars Off Streets

A woman shows the Uber apps on her smartphone in Jakarta, on Aug. 13, 2014. (JG Photo/Jurnasyanto Sukarno)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 4:01 PM August 19, 2014
Category : News, Jakarta, Featured

A woman shows the Uber apps on her smartphone in Jakarta, Wednesday (13/8). JG Photo/Jurnasyanto A woman shows the Uber app on her smartphone in Jakarta, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (JG Photo/Jurnasyanto)

Jakarta. Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama on Tuesday called on the premium-grade car rental services provider Uber Technologies to shut down its Jakarta operations, saying the company does not have the required taxi permit.

“If they want to comply with the regulations, Uber taxi must be stopped,” Basuki said on Tuesday.

The deputy governor emphasized that Uber Technologies needs a license from the city’s transportation agency and that the company also most likely does not have a tax registration number (NPWP).

“They need a permit to clarify the company’s status,” Basuki said, adding that Uber also needed to make public details such as an office address and owner information.

“They are doing business in Indonesia and there are regulations,” he added. "If a company makes profit, it has to pay taxes. If it doesn't have a permit and an NPWP and it doesn't pay taxes, then it is breaking all the rules — that would amount to tax evasion."

Uber uses a smartphone application that allows people to rent premium-grade cars — along with a private driver — at an affordable rate. The app was launched in Jakarta earlier this month, and is already available in 43 other countries around the world.

Basuki said the city administration would not hesitate to take Uber's cars off the streets should the company refuse to voluntarily shut down its operations.

“We must stop the cars. It’s easy: all we need to do is install the application and order a car, and when the car arrives we arrest them,” he said.

Basuki also argued that without a proper operational permit, the safety of Uber passengers could not be guaranteed. He explained that legal taxi operators are required to provide information about the driver and their vehicle number, so that passengers can identify the driver if necessary.

“When we get into a taxi, we can always check the name of the company, the driver and the taxi number. Now the question is: who exactly owns Uber? Where is their office? If they want to operate in Jakarta, the should make this official,” Basuki said.

Uber’s regional general manager Michael Brown has previously told the Jakarta Globe that the company was looking forward to having "constructive discussions with the government and non-governmental stakeholders on how the company’s technology would add value to Indonesian consumers, drivers and communities."

Brown stressed that all of the company's rental partners are licensed and authorized and that its operation was compliant with Indonesian law.

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