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29% Women Economically Active In India

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New Delhi: In India, just 29 percent of women are economically active compared with over 80 percent of men, the Vodafone Connected Women Report 2014 stated here Thursday.

The report, done by Vodafone Group, was supported by the Vodafone Foundation in collaboration with Oxford University’s Said Business School and Accenture Sustainability Services, and was released here by Cherie Blair, founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

”Globally, it is said if you develop a woman that has a major positive impact on the society. In Vodafone, we want to contribute to the society beyond our business,” Marten Pieters, managing director and chief executive officer, Vodafone India said.

The report focusses on the impact and potential of mobile technology in various facets of the lives of women around the world.

”With gender disparity in itself being a big social challenge in India, the number of women owning mobile phone is considerably lesser than the men.

This gap not only affects women’s ability to communicate, but it also presents a lost opportunity in terms of health, education, work, safety and inclusion,” he said.

”Women with right support can bring change in the economy,” Blair said. 

”I have been overwhelmed by the success of the RUDI Sandesha Vyavhar (RSV) project in Gujarat in partnership with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and the Vodafone Foundation in India. Many of the women have been able to increase their income significantly, in some cases by as much as four times. With higher profits, they have been able to send their children to school and afford healthcare,” she said.

The Rural Distribution Network or RUDI is an initiative established by the SEWA reaches to 1.1 million households and provides income for 3,000 women.

The women in RUDI now use RSV platform to submit their orders via SMS on a basic phone. The system also enable women in RUDI organisation to track and manage stock levels in real time and it has been piloted with over 1,500 women. 

These women in RUDI were able to increase their income by up to 300 percent. The system was developed through a collaboration between SEWA, the Vodafone Foundation in India and tHe Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

Since the programme started in 2012, it has been piloted with over 1,500 women. In 2014, the solution is being rolled out to more districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan with the aim of reaching out to 4,500 direct beneficiaries in total by 2016 and potentially thousands more as families and communities benefit from the success of the businesses.

Indian Business News

COCA-COLA BOTTLERS TO INVEST RS510 CR IN HARYANA

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Coca-Cola bottling firms Kandhari Beverages and Enrich Agro Food Products on Tuesday said they will invest Rs510 crore in Haryana to add new manufacturing lines. The authorised franchise bottlers of Coca-Cola India, inked a pact with the State Government to expand their manufacturing infrastructure.

“A fresh, combined infusion of Rs510 crore will create an additional direct employment for 325 people,” both the companies said in a joint statement. As a part of the pact, Kandhari Beverages will invest Rs300 crore to set up multiple high speed manufacturing lines for juice, energy and sparkling drinks at Saha in Ambala and will be completed by 2018.

Enrich Agro Food Products will invest Rs165 crore to set up a new manufacturing line for beverages in Rohtak by 2018 and also invest Rs45 crore in a packaging unit for Coca-Cola.

Kandhari Beverages Pvt Ltd Executive Director Bikram Kandhari said: “This investment which will be utilised to enhance infrastructure in our bottling facilities and setting-up new manufacturing lines.”

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Indian Business News

Uber to Invest Rs. 120 Crores in India

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Taxi-hailing app Uber on Tuesday signed a pact with the Haryana Government, wherein it will invest Rs120 crore in technology based ride-sharing services. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at the Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit 2016.

Under the agreement, Uber will invest in technology based ride-sharing services, which includes peer-to-peer transportation using private vehicles where the driver is reasonably compensated for expenses, tolls and other related costs.

Uber said this new form of reliable and convenient urban mobility will help create a real alternative to car ownership. Uber will also collaborate with the Government in creating smarter cities in Haryana.

“Haryana has been a leader in promoting information technology and we are excited to launch private vehicle ride-sharing to promote urban mobility, prevent pollution and reduce the time spent in traffic in our cities,” Vijayendra Kumar, Secretary IT, Haryana said in a statement.

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Indian Business News

FM Arun Jaitley rolls back Budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawal – Big win for salaried class!

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FM Arun Jaitley rolls back Budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawal - Big win for salaried class!

New Delhi: In what will bring cheers to millions of salaried class individuals in the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday rolled back the controversial budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawals.

Taking the first opportunity available, he made a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha in which he also announced withdrawal of imposing monetary limit for contribution of employers to provident and superannuation fund of Rs 1.5 lakh for taking tax benefit.

He however stated that 40 percent exemption given to National Pension Scheme (NPS) subscriber at the time of withdrawal remains.

“In view of representations received, the government would like to do a comprehensive review of this proposal and therefore I withdraw the proposal,” Jaitley added.

Clarifying government’s stand on EPF in Lok Sabha, Jaitley said, “The main argument is that employees should have choice of where to invest. Our intention was to encourage more and more employees join the national pension scheme”.

Jaitley in his Budget for 2016-17 had proposed that 60 percent of the withdrawal on contribution to employee PF made after April 1 this year will be subject to tax. This would apply to superannuation funds and recognised provident funds including EPF.

This was criticised by all employees unions as well as political parties.

The proposal would not have impacted 3.26 crore EPFO subscribers drawing statutory wage of upto Rs 15,000 per month. Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has a total subscriber base of 3.7 crore.

(With Agency Inputs)

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