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Save our livelihoods: Big Bazaar female staff appeal to Narendra Modi




On the International Women’s Day, over 2,600 women across Big Bazaar outlets in India appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save the livelihood of over 2,00,000 women working for the Future Group’s retail chain, here on Monday.

The ‘Women of Big Bazaar SOS (Save Our Sustenance)’, serving with the Future Group narrated the plight of women whose jobs are jeopardised — comprising 10,000 direct employees and another 2,00,000 indirectly earning their livelihood by supplying products to the company’s brands.

A total of 2,677 women working in various positions with Future Group from Assam to Rajasthan, Kashmir to Kerala and all other states, have petitioned the PM to “urgently intervene” and save their livelihoods from “certain ruin in the wake of the ongoing crisis precipitated by Amazon”.

“Future Retail and Reliance had entered into an arrangement through which Future’s retail stores will continue to be operated by Reliance. Reliance has also committed to clear all debts and dues owed by Future Retail to suppliers and vendors,” the Group’s appeal said.

Owing to the tough times during the pandemic, this deal kindled hopes and confidence for their continued livelihoods, but Amazon has tried to stop this tie-up and consequently the future of the women and their families hangs precariously, implored the women.

Seeking the PM’s priority attention, they pointed out how “India’s daughters continue to live in fear and under the looming threat of cruel uncertainty to our livelihoods and lives”.

They stressed that owing to close family links, leaving the towns where they currently reside was not an option, even if they stopped earning or losing their current sources of livelihood.

“Without our jobs and sources of income, we would be left at the mercy of the cruel world. We shall all suffer deeply, and our families will undergo untold and unimaginable hardships. Just to think of this, shatters our hearts,” they appealed.

They said that in the wake of the Amazon-Reliance face-off for control over India’s retail, the Future Group’s vast and vibrant service and socio-economic ecosystem is under severe duress.

“For women, retail offers the unique advantage of it being the only industry where they are readily employed in blue-collar jobs particularly in smaller towns and cities across the country,” they said.

Invoking the PM’s philosophy of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ Mission, the Group urged him to “extend to us a little support so that we may live with dignity and be able to provide succour to our families”.

The group’s members are convinced that if the contentious Amazon interference in the FG-Reliance deal is permitted to proceed, the most severely hit will be the small-town retail women employees and those women of the extended support ecosystem set-ups where the impact of the impediment will be far greater and deeper than can be imagined, said the appeal to PM.

The appeal has been made by the Women of Big Bazaar SOS on behalf of the 10K-plus direct women staffers of the Future Group’s retail chains, plus another 2,00,000 who supply products to its associates like Central, Brand Factory, Easy Day, Heritage City, WH Smith, 7-Eleven, fbb, etc.


Intel-owned Mobileye, Udelv to build 35K autonomous vehicles




Intel-owned Mobileye and Udelv, a Silicon Valley venture-backed company, have announced to produce more than 35,000 autonomous vehicles by 2028, with commercial operations beginning in 2023.

Mobileye’s self-driving system — Mobileye Drive — will “drive” the next-generation Udelv autonomous delivery vehicles (ADV), called “Transporters.”

“Our deal with Udelv is significant for its size, scope and rapid deployment timeline, demonstrating our ability to deliver Mobileye Drive for commercial use now and in volume,” said Professor Amnon Shashua, Mobileye president and CEO.

“COVID-19 has accelerated demand for autonomous goods delivery, and we are delighted to partner with Udelv to address this demand in the near term,” he said in statement on Monday.

Donlen, one of America’s largest commercial fleet management companies at the forefront of fleet management innovation and technology, has placed the first pre-order for 1,000 ‘Transporters’ — believed to be the largest to date for an autonomous delivery vehicle.

“The readiness of Mobileye Drive, along with its vast map coverage of North America, Europe and Asia, will allow us to ramp up the production and deployment of Udelv Transporters and rapidly offer the service at scale to our expanding list of customers,” said Daniel Laury, CEO and co-founder of Udelv.

Mobileye-driven Transporters will be capable of L4 self-driving, point-to-point operation.

Udelv’s proprietary tele-operations system will allow for the maneuvering of the vehicles at the edges of the mission, in parking lots, loading zones, apartment complexes and private roads.

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Equity indices in green, auto, banking stocks rise




A day after recording the biggest single-day fall of 2021, the key Indian equity indices traded in the green on Tuesday.

Healthy buying activity was witnessed in banking and auto stocks.

The indices have, however, declined from the intra-day highs.

At around 11.25 a.m, Sensex was trading at 48,030.96, higher by 147.58 points or 0.31 per cent from its previous close of 47,883.38.

It opened at 47,991.53 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 48,315.09 and a low of 47,775.32 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 14,349.85, higher by 39.05 points or 0.27 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv and ONGC, while the major losers were TCS, Tech Mahindra and Infosys.

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OMCs to explore fuel price revision post elections




Fuel prices in the country remained unchanged on Tuesday with oil marketing companies continuing on the pause mode and keeping petrol and diesel prices static for a fortnight now.

Accordingly, pump prices of petrol and diesel remained at previous day’s level of Rs 90.56 and Rs 80.87 a litre respectively in the national capital.

However, the two petroleum products may see revision again post conclusion of ongoing state elections. With crude remaining below $65 a barrel, any softening on global oil in wake of fresh wave of the pandemic and rising oil stocks in US could actually mean lower petrol and diesel prices for consumers in India.

Before the long drawn pause, petrol and diesel fell by 22 paisa and 23 paisa per litre respectively on March 30. The OMCs have decided to pause price revision since then as they want to watch the crude price movement that has now fallen to around $63.5 a barrel.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel prices remain static on Tuesday but its retail levels varied depending on the level of local levies on respective states.

In Mumbai, petrol continues to be priced at Rs 96.98 a litre and diesel at Rs 87.96 a litre. Premium petrol, however, continues to remain over Rs 100 a litre in the city as is the case with several cities across the country.

The OMCs went on price cut for the first time this year on two consecutive days – March 24 and 25 after keeping oil prices steady for past 24 days. It again reduced the price on March 30. Thereafter, fuel prices have remained unchanged.

Earlier, petrol and diesel prices increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre respectively so far this year.

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