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Congress takes on Modi over ‘industrialist’ remark

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Manish Tewari

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) With Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that he was “not afraid of” publicly standing beside industrialists because his intentions were “noble”, the Congress hit out at him, saying he should not lend his legitimacy and respectability to such corporates.

“If the Prime Minister feels alright to be photographed with such people, who allegedly ripped off the banking system, and run away to Antigua and London or probably disappear from the earth, then I leave it to the Prime Minister’s wisdom to lend his legitimacy and respectability to such people,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said at a press conference.

“The question is not the capitalists or industrialists. The question is what kind of capitalists or industrialists,” he said, while stressing his party was not against industrialists and capitalists, but against “crony capitalists”.

“The Congress feels that private enterprise has a legitimate place in the developmental trajectory of the country. But what we are against is crony capitalism and the nexus between the suit and the boot. ‘The Suit Boot ki Sarkar’, when the government functions for the benefit of a few at the cost of many,” he said.

Tewari also hit out at Modi for comparing himself with Mahatma Gandhi, saying: “What is even more astonishing is that the Prime Minister went and compared himself to Mahatma Gandhi.

“Its unfortunate because no politician should compare himself to the father of the nation. He said that even Mahatma Gandhi used to carry industrialists with him. Again the question is what kind of industrialists. They were those people who in the teeth of British tyranny, British imperialism, in the teeth of persecution were ready to stake in sacrifice everything they had for the freedom of India.”

These industrialists stood with Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress because their goal was the freedom of India, and were “not those industrialists who had gamed the banking system and runaway with thousands of crores of public money,” he said.

Slammed Modi over development issues, Tewari said that “the Prime Minister patted himself on the back saying that the country is developing splendidly”, but this is not borne out by facts.

“The facts are that farmers are forced to sell their crop below the minimum support price. The fact is that small and medium industry is closing down rapidly across the country.”

On Modi’s visit to Uttar Pradesh, Tewari said when any Prime Minister visits a state seven times, six or nine months before the Lok Sabha elections, it is possibly the most “potent barometer of the nervousness” of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Prime Minister of India.

“This is perhaps the seventh trip that the Prime Minister is making to Uttar Pradesh in less than a month.”

He also criticised BJP President Amit Shah’s interview to a newspaper where he mentioned the Rs 12 crore Mudra loans for youth, saying the question was “how many sustainable livelihoods have those loans created”.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala meanwhile tweeted: “Dear PM, your political career reeks of a culture of cronyism! From giving land to your crony friends at throwaway prices in Guj to GSCPC scam, from promoting select mobile wallets in DeMo to gifting largest defence contracts in Rafale! So spare us the lecture!”

Business

LinkedIn partners with Oracle to help HR teams attract right talent

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oracle LinkedIn

New Delhi, Oct 17: Cloud major Oracle on Wednesday said it entered into a partnership with professional networking platform LinkedIn to help HR teams attract, engage and retain employees.

A series of new integrations between Oracle’s Human Capital Management Cloud (Oracle HCM Cloud) and Taleo Enterprise Edition, and LinkedIn, will help HR teams to grow their talent pool and increase career development opportunities, Oracle said.

“The world of work is rapidly changing, and this is creating new opportunities and challenges for talent leaders,” Scott Roberts, Vice President of Business Development, LinkedIn, said in a statement.

“We are excited to be working with Oracle to create better solutions to make hiring and developing talent as seamless and effective as possible,” Roberts added.

The new integrations enable HR teams to take a holistic view of their talent’s experience, skills and career aspirations in order to achieve a meaningful alignment between each employee’s job responsibilities and an organisation’s overall business objectives.

They improve the candidate experience by enabling them to apply for a job via Oracle Recruiting Cloud or Taleo Enterprise Edition and identify and contact (via InMail) their LinkedIn connections who can best refer them for that job.

“The rapidly changing global talent market is forcing organisations across industries to rethink how they attract, engage and retain employees,” said Nagaraj Nadendla, Group Vice President, Product Development, Oracle.

IANS

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Hyundai’s Kona EV ready to hit the road

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hyundai Kona Electric Kona EV

Seoul, Oct 15: Carmaker Hyundai is developing a crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) named Kona and the electric vehicle (EV) is reportedly ready to hit the road.

hyundai Kona Electric Kona EV

While industry stalwarts like Ford and startups like Tesla dominate the conversation around the future of the EV market, Hyundai is out here quietly developing the crossover SUV that can travel farther on a single charge — 258 miles, to be precise — than any other electric vehicle on the market, Engadget reported on Monday.

The Kona Electric has a 64KWH lithium-ion polymer battery pack delivering 258 miles per charge.

hyundai Kona Electric Kona EV

Notably, this make it the longest-range non-luxury EV, beating the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt EV (238 miles) and Nissan Leaf (151 miles) — and even Hyundai’s own Ioniq Electric (124 miles).

The Kona Electric or Kona EV is, unsurprisingly, based on the existing Hyundai Kona gas-powered platform.

“The exterior stylings are virtually identical, with the EV just 0.6-inches longer and 0.2 inches taller. The two models also share the same trio of trim packages. You’ve got the base SEL, then Limited and Ultimate,” the report added.

The SUV would be available in six colours, two of which are exclusive to the electric model.

IANS

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Sugar mills worry over surplus, talk of ‘industry collapse’

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sugarcane

New Delhi, Oct 14 : With the availability of sugar set to reach an unprecedented level of 44 million tonnes thanks to huge unconsumed stock from last year and expected higher production this year, an imminent threat of “industry collapse” is being talked about. This has pushed mills to consider producing globally-accepted high-quality refined sugar as the most promising way to dispose off the surplus.

The decision of Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer, to lower production this year has given Indian industry an opportunity to fill the space. However, it will have to live up to global expectations, the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) has said.

It said the mills are planning to boost their exports by improving quality of sugar to 45 ICUMSA grade, a high quality refined grade and considered one of the highest purity levels globally.

“Currently, we produce sugar whose grade is between 100-150 ICUMSA. Till now, the domestic consumption offset the domestic output. So Indian sugar mills never bothered about producing high refined quality sugar as per the global standards,” NFCSF Managing Director Prakash Naiknavare told IANS.

ICUMSA is a global body and its rating is an international unit for expressing the purity of the sugar, which is directly related to the colour of the sweetener.

Brazil has decided to cut down sugar production by earmarking more cane for manufacturing ethanol, so India finds a space where the domestic surplus can be accommodated.

“To achieve it, we will have to produce sugar of 45 ICUMSA grade. It will take minimal efforts and capital to upgrade the existing machinery,” Naiknavare said.

India has a surplus (opening stock) of 10.5 million tonnes from the last season and it is expected to produce around 33.5 million tonnes of the sweetener in 2018-19 starting October.

So the total availability of sugar this year will be around 44 million tonnes against the expected domestic consumption of 26 million tonnes, thus putting a “burden” on the mills to clear huge sugar stocks in the backdrop of depressed retail prices — around Rs 37 per kg in the national capital compared to around Rs 40-43 a year ago.

As the sugar output in Brazil is to go down by almost 10 million tonnes, India is set to become the largest sugar producer in the world this year.

Naiknavare said it was “a god-sent” gift, which had provided India “with an opportunity to make perception that India can be a great destination” for high-quality refined sugar.

As per the initial estimates of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), which represents private sugar mills in the country, India is set to produce around 35 million tonnes in the 2018-19 season starting October against 32.25 million tonnes in the previous year.

The NFCSF, however, said that the 2018-19 production figures would be around 33.5 million tonnes owing to the infection of white grub in Maharashtra and Karnataka, which damages roots leading to the death of cane.

The government can store three million tonnes. It will also help mills to export five million tonnes under the Minimum Indicative Export Quota (MIEQ) by compensating expenses towards internal transport, freight handling and other charges.

“The government’s assistance and incentives have been helpful to the industry. Even if we take all these into account, including 26 million tonnes of domestic consumption, there will be surplus of 10 million tonnes. If it is not disposed, the industry will collapse,” said Naiknavare, adding all stakeholders, including the ISMA, had started brainstorming on how to dispose the surplus.

The government, while announcing a bail-out package for the industry in June this year, had fixed minimum selling price (MSP) at the mill gate of Rs 2,900 per tonnes to ensure that retail prices do not fall further.

The average price sugar received at global market in last 15 days is roughly Rs 2,200- 2,400 per tonne.

However, the prices have been on the increase from last few days — 10.97 cents per pound on September 28 to 13.11 cents per pound on October 9 according to the International Sugar Organisation — a trend the Indian sugar industry finds positive.

Acting on the industry’s request, the central government had given a subsidy of Rs 55 per tonne of sugarcane to help mills to clear cane farmers’ arrears.

(Saurabh Katkurwar can be contacted at [email protected])

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