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Indian Consulate General in Chicago hosts “Make in India” seminar

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Pic 4Chicago: The Consulate General of India hosted an Executive Seminar on ”’Make in India Week” on Wednesday. The International Business Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce were the host partners of the seminar.

Over hundred eminent business persons and entrepreneurs attended the event. These businessman and entrepreneurs are working in different sectors of economy in the US–Midwest, besides senior officials of the State of Illinois, World Business Chicago, Sister City International, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, US-India Business Council (USIBC), US-India Chamber of Commerce and the Kellogg School of Management.

The main speakers at the event were Dr Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India; Mr Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, State of Illinois; Ms Amy Hariani, Director & Legal Policy Counsel, US-India Business Council, Mr Kishen Kavikondala, President, SK International, Mr Tom L Kelly, Director of Government Affairs, Clark Hill PLC, Ms Poonam Gupta-Krishnan, Founder of Iyka Enterprises and Mr Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing, Esayfe.

Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed made a power presentation on “Make in India Week”. Through which he highlighted the robust health of Indian economy.  He pointed out that IMF in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) sees India as the world’s fastest growing economy in 2016-17 with GDP growth of 7.5%. India continues to be the

India has maintained its status as the Top Global Destination for FDI with 32% of investors termed India as the Most Attractive Market last year while other 60% placing it among the top 3 investment destinations.

He mentioned that investors consider India as one of the most open economies in the world allowing 100% FDI in most of the sectors of its economy.

He talked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of, ”Reform to Transform” which aims to make India the easiest and simplest place to do business by eliminating paperwork and easing out old cumbersome procedures.

The Consul General said that ”Make in India” is the premier initiative of Indian Government. It targets at transforming the Indian economy from the services-driven growth to intensive manufacturing driven growth. It will not only increase productivity but also will promote India as an international manufacturing hub.

He talked about the 30 key economic sectors where MNCs can set up the manufacturing base in India. He added that India’s manufacturing sector offers one trillion US dollars of economic opportunity.

He specifically mentioned the synergy between Indian states and those in the US Midwest. He said this synergy could be utilized to boost the manufacturing sectors in both countries. A promotional film on “Make in India” was also shown as part of the presentation.

Mr Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer of the State of Illinois, asserted that Illinois is one of most important business partners of India. He said Illinois is the leader in the field education, global connection, and innovative ecosystem and it has a desire to collaborate with India in the initiative of developing the smart cities. He cited his recent useful interactions with high-level trade missions who had come from high Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Ms Amy Hariani, Director and Legal Policy Counsel, US-India Business Council (USIBC) commended Modi government. He said that the government made constant progress to deliver on its election promises of economic reforms.

He said the allowing FDI in several sector more freely, removal of red tape, the arrival of transparent tax environment and the intellectual property regime’s improvement have sent the message to all the investors that India is ready and open for serious business.

He said these efforts are also visible in India’s rise in the World Bank’s, ”Ease of Doing Business Index”. She added the US enterprises are also committed to the ”Make In India” program in many areas such as defense, health, power generation, media, entertainment, and technology and there is potential to do more.

Mr Tom Kelly, Director of Government Affairs in Clark Hill’s Washington DC office and Mr Kishen Kavikondala, President SK International held a joint presentation focused on introducing the American skilled training model to the Indian students.

Ms Poonam Gupta, Founder, and CEO of Iyka Enterprises, Inc, gave a presentation on simplifying technology for the manufacturing industry and customizable data management solutions to a specific, targeted market.

Mr Brad Perine, Vice President of Marketing of M/S Esayfe gave a presentation on software security applications to protect and secure sensitive data, while expressing their company’s interest in supporting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The Consulate General of India, Chicago has since mobilized four major business delegations — one each from the States of Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri to participate in “Make in India Week”, scheduled in Mumbai from February 13-18, 2016.

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Tea Body of Assam Slam ‘Chaiwala’ Modi

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said

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Narendra-Modi
Assam tea body slam 'chaiwala' Modi,

The largest tea body of Assam on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often refer to himself as a “chaiwala”, for not being considerate towards the state’s tea garden workers’ plight and urged him to implement the promised minimum wage of Rs 350 before the new year starts.

The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) General Secretary Rupesh Gowala said while Modi often refers to himself as a “chaiwala”, he is yet make good on his promises towards a million tea garden labourers in the state in the last four years.

“Before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Modi addressed several rallies in Assam and assured that the tea garden labourers would be paid a minimum wage of Rs 350 per day,” Gowala said.

“If this happens, the 10,00,000 tea garden labourers will lose Rs 30 each day for two months. Is it a “chaiwala” Prime Minister who is doing this to his own community?” said Gowala.

The tea garden workers in Brahmaputra Valley in Assam are presently drawing Rs 167 per day while the tea garden workers in Barak Valley are getting Rs 145 per day.

“The existing wage agreement between the Assam government and the ACMS and other tea workers bodies expired on December 31, 2017.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

“The government had announced an interim hike of Rs 30 per day. The tea garden labourers are supposed to get this interim hike from January 1, 2018, but the government is saying the hike will apply from March 1, 2018.

“This would make them lose Rs 30 per day for two months,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam is yet to fix that minimum wage, Gowala said, urging Modi to announce the promised Rs 350 per day minimum wage before 2019.

Gowala said the condition of all those tea gardens run by the Assam government was far worse.

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“While the labourers in company-owned garden are receiving a wage of Rs. 167 per day now, the 26,000 workers under the 14 gardens of state-owned Assam Tea Company Limited (ATCL) are receiving a wage of Rs 115 only per day,” he said.

Assam has over 800 medium and large size tea gardens that produces over 50 per cent of the country’s total tea produce.

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said. (IANS)