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‘India-US will help each other grow in a dynamic global marketplace’ – Arun K. Singh

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Image from indiaopines.com

By Arun Kumar

Washington: India’s lowering of barriers to investment and encouraging business expansion will help US and Indian companies to further increase their presence in each other’s country, according to Indian ambassador Arun K. Singh.

Image from indiaopines.com
Image from indiaopines.com

“The exchange is good for both nations and should be encouraged,” he said in a blog post in The Hill, a top US political website, noting the two are “economic powerhouses that are helping each other grow in a dynamic global marketplace.”

“We have a stake in each other’s economic future – and that future is very bright,” Singh said citing a new report about Indian companies pouring investment dollars into businesses in the US and creating tens of thousands of American jobs.

The report from the Confederation of Indian Industry and the accounting firm Grant Thornton reveals that not only is Indian investment in the US large, it’s also extremely widespread and clearly growing, he noted.

The 100 Indian-based companies surveyed for the study have made an aggregate $15.3 billion investment in their US operations and created 91,000 jobs in the US, “which by any measure is a substantial contribution to the American economy,” Singh wrote.

The US isn’t just a favoured destination for the time being; it is likely to remain attractive for Indian investors for years, he wrote citing the survey, he said.

“These substantial investments are also a testament to the trust and openness that India and the US enjoy both at the people-to-people and government-to-government levels,” Singh said.

Noting that India, according to Select USA, is now the fourth-fastest growing source of foreign direct investment into the US, he said, “the significant and growing contributions of Indian investments in the US remain a vital component of the bilateral relationship.”

American firms have long been major investors in India, but efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make economic growth a hallmark of his administration have accelerated US investment there, he said.

India has been lowering barriers to investment and encouraging business expansion, Singh said noting the Indian government has over the past year raised limits on foreign investment in sectors such as insurance, medical devices, railways and defence.

“This will no doubt provide myriad opportunities for US companies to increase their presence in India and will strengthen Indian companies so that they can enlarge their footprint in the US,” he wrote.

(IANS)

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)