Pricey tomatoes spurred a fresh round of protests by Congress workers on Friday, who parked a cart full of tomatoes in front of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and sold the kitchen staple at Rs 10 per kg.The party had earlier come up with a “State Bank of Tomato” that is being operated from the Youth Congress office here.Tomato prices have hovered around Rs 100 per kg in major cities with supplies being disrupted due to heavy rains.Congress workers led by state secretary Shailendra Tiwari stood in front of the Assembly with a cart full of tomatoes with a banner “Tamatar ke aaye acche din” (good days have come for tomatoes) and sold it at Rs 10 per kg per person.“This is our way to protest the soaring tomato price.We are selling it to common man to show our concern for them.It’s ironical that the government has not taken any initiative to open subsidised counters for selling tomatoes or to check its price,” Mr. Tiwari said.The ‘tomato bank’ has some interesting schemes to offer like providing the commodity on easy loan as also a locker facility, 80 per cent loans on tomatoes and attractive interest rates for depositing tomatoes, especially for the poor.The idea behind the bank is to lodge protest and to create awareness among the people about the commodity being sold at such high rates.Prices of tomato have shot up about four times since the beginning of June when tomatoes were being sold at about Rs 25 per kg in the Delhi-National Capital Region market.Industry body Assocham had said recently that “Tomato prices may not immediately ease as flooding in some of the growing states has led to damage to the crop.” Unlike onion and potato, the shelf life of tomato is very short and it needs cold chains and modern warehouses for storage and transportation, it said.Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha are the major tomato growing States.The country produces around 18 million tonnes of tomatoes.
Making light of the Congress’ efforts to cobble up pre-poll tie-ups in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Wednesday that outfits that allied with the grand old party have suffered destruction.“The Congress is a ‘dhokhebaj’ (deceitful) party. Those who had formed an alliance with the Congress had invited destruction [upon them],” Mr. Chouhan said at Maihar in Satna district, around 450 km from Bhopal, from where he launched the second leg of his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’.The Chief Minister was reacting to the Congress’ efforts to stitch an alliance with parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party ahead of Assembly elections due later this year.‘Remember history’“You must remember that the Congress had pulled down the Chaudhary Charan Singh government within four months and humiliated him. The Congress did the same with I.K. Gujral and H.D. Deve Gowda [former Prime Ministers],” he said.Before launching the second leg of the yatra that would cover Bundelkhand, Mahakaushal and Vindhya regions, the Chief Minister, who has been helming the State since November 2005, paid obeisance at the Maa Sharada temple in Maihar.The first leg of the 75-day yatra was flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah on July 14 from Ujjain after offering prayers at the Mahakaleshwar temple.Two vehicles have been converted into chariots for the yatra. One of the chariots is being used in central Madhya Pradesh, Malwa and Nimar regions which were covered in the first leg of the yatra, the other chariot is meant for Bundelkhand, Mahakaushal and Vindhya regions.Mr. Chouhan had embarked on a similar yatra ahead of the Assembly polls in 2008 and 2013.The opposition Congress, which has been out of power since 2003, has been trying to forge ties with BSP and SP.State unit Congress president Kamal Nath had announced that his party was ready to align with like-minded parties, especially the BSP, ahead of polls to unseat the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh.He had met BSP chief Mayawati in Delhi recently.
Twenty-nine students of a residential high school for girls at Antarba in Odisha’s Gajapati district left their hostel on Saturday night and are missing since.Despite efforts of the school authorities as well as the administration, the girls had not been traced till Sunday evening. They have not even returned to their homes. Most of the girls are from Class IX. It is suspected that they escaped from the hostel to complain to the District Collector about the state of affairs in the hostel.Gajapati District Welfare Officer Santosh Kumar Rath is monitoring the search operation. According to Mr. Rath, the girls have left behind a handwritten letter mentioning some reasons for leaving the hostel.Speaking to newsmen, school headmaster Manoj Rath accepted that the girls had earlier expressed their resentment over some issue with their teachers. As per the headmaster, the issue had been resolved. He felt the same reason may have prompted them to leave the hostel.
An ankle injury forced Saina Nehwal to pull out of the Indian Open badminton championships, which got underway in Hyderabad on Wednesday. The Indian ace experienced pain in her right ankle after a practice session in the morning and subsequently withdrew.Saina confirmed that she had experienced pain on Wednesday. “Everytime I stretched on my right side, I felt a slight pain. I consulted Kiran Kumar (physiotherapist) and Pullela Gopi Chand sir and they were of the view that I should pull out,” said Saina.Saina added she had experienced similar pain in the third game of the Hong Kong Super Series final on Sunday, where she emerged victorious. ” I had felt the same pain when I was leading 17- 14 against Wang Shixian. But I continued as I was so close to winning,” she said.Speaking to Mail Today, Kiran Kumar said the injury was not serious. “It is not at all a serious injury. But then, seeing the tight schedule that she has ivn the coming year, we thought it was better not to take a chance,” he said.Elaborating on the injury, Kiran said Saina’s subtalar joint was at the root of the problem. ” One needs some massage and rest. I saw her ankle and felt that she needed at least a week’s break. Conversely, had she played, the injury could have been aggravated. It would have also put her out of action for five to six weeks,” Kiran Kumar said.But the bigger issue is with that with five to six weeks being the recovery period for her, the Indian ace is certain to miss the Super Series finals that are slated to be held in Taipei from January 5.advertisementWhen asked whether Saina would be able to play in the Taipei event, Kiran felt her chances were ” not too bright”. For his part, chief coach Gopi Chand said Saina was keen to participate but was prevented from going ahead. ” We did not want to take any risk by playing her here,” he said.Meanwhile, C Punnaiah Choudhary, the tournament secretary, admitted that Saina’s pull out came as a big disappointment.”The organisers and local fans were all hoping to see their star player win.Unfortunately that will not happen now,” he said.He also said that Saina will be fined for pulling out after the tournament had started. ” She will have to cough up the penalty of $ 250 for withdrawing so late,” Choudhary said.
Dil Raju and Karan JoharCollage of photos taken from Twitter and FacebookAfter SS Rajamouli, Tollywood producers Dil Raju is said to be teaming up with Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar. He has planned to remake Nani and Shraddha Srinath’ Telugu movie Jersey in Hindi.Raju, who made his debut as a producer with the Telugu film Dil in 2003, has bankrolled over 30 movies in his career spanning 16 years and most of them have become successful ventures at the box office. It is known that he is set to enter Bollywood with the remake of F2 – Fun and Frustration in Hindi.The sources close to Dil Raju now claims that he has planned to expand his production house Sri Venkateswara Creations (SVC) all over India. He is set to take successful Telugu movies with universal appeal to Hindi directly and collaborate with top B-Town stars. The Hindi remake of F2 – Fun and Frustration, which he is jointly producing with Boney Kapoor, is the first attempt in that direction.Dil Raju, who is also a well-known distributor, released Jersey in Nizam and Vizag regions and he is stunned by its performance at the ticket counters in these areas. The movie has a universal appeal and after seeing its critical and commercial success, the producer has reportedly planned to take it Bollywood.Sources close to Dil Raju said that he wants to collaborate with Karan Johar for the Hindi remake of Jersey. It is said that he is currently in talks with the Bollywood producer, who earlier presented Baahubali movies. The two are expected to complete the formalities of their first joint production.Written and directed by Gowtham Tinnanuri, Jersey is a period sports drama that is about a middle-aged cricketer who is forced to give up on his dream after his career failed to take off. It has struck a chord audience, critics and also many celebs including SS Rajamouli, Allu Arjun, Jr NTR and Vijay Deverakonda. The movie has recovered over 60 per cent of the distributors’ investment in just three days.
PepsiCo Inc’s bottler Varun Beverages on Wednesday announced that its Initial Public Offering (IPO) valued at Rs 1,000 crore will open on October 26 and close on October 28. The price band has been set at Rs 440-445 per share.Proceeds from the IPO will be used to repay part of the Rs 1,700 crore debt, which was taken to boost its expansion plans over the last few years. Delhi-based businessman Ravi Jaipuria and his son Varun Jaipuria, who own the flagship firm, will each sell five million shares in the public offering, while the company will sell 15 million new shares.Kotak Mahindra Capital Co Ltd, Axis Capital Ltd, CLSA India Pvt. Ltd. and YES Securities (India) have been hired to manage the IPO.Varun Beverages accounts for about 45 percent of PepsiCo’s volumes in India. The firm is the only bottler and distributor of PepsiCo in the North and East India, with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand regions, Jaipuria told the media.Last month, Varun Beverages Ltd won the stock market regulator’s approval for its Rs 1,000 crore worth Initial Public Offering. The company secured clearance from the Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on August 31.In October last year, the company had raised Rs 600 crore from Aion Investments, a Singapore-based company. The company had then said it would utilise the funds for expanding its business and “refinancing debt.”Varun Beverages is PepsiCo’s product distributor in 17 states and two Union Territories across India. It is also PepsiCo’s second-largest bottler in South Asia and has, apart from India, operations in Nepal and Sri Lanka. It also sells PepsiCo’s products in parts of Africa.
The collapsed Rana Plaza.Proceedings in the murder case over the Rana Plaza collapse have been stalled, following a High Court order six years after the deadly incident that killed more than 1100 people.Testifying in the murder case was halted after two of them got a stay order from the court challenging the order to frame charges, according to the office of Dhaka district public prosecutor (PP).Six years ago on 24 April 2013, a total of 1,136 people, mostly readymade garment workers, were killed and 1,169 more were injured and later physically disabled after the multi-storey building collapsed.Three years ago, the Dhaka district and sessions judge court framed a charge sheet and passed an order to carry on proceedings of the murder case against Sohel Rana, owner of the building, and 40 others.Earlier, three cases were filed in connection with the Rana Plaza collapse. One was filed under the building construction act. The proceedings in the case were also stalled following a revision appeal by the accused.The trial of only the case which was filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is now going on.Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity’s executive director Kalpana Akhter told Prothom Alo, “A lot of people were killed or physically disabled in the incident. But there has been no justice over the past six years. This is a sheer humiliation for the victims. If the workers had any value, justice would be done in 6 months.”The attorney general Mahbubey Alam said, “The public prosecutors informed me that the trial in the two cases remains stalled following stay order by the High Court in favour of two accused. As soon as possible, the state will take necessary steps over the withdrawal of the stay order.”Dhaka district’s chief public prosecutor Khandakar Abdul Mannan told Prothom Alo that he earlier informed the attorney general’s office about the matter.In reality, he added, there is no scope to carry on the trial due to the stay order from the higher court.He assured that he will soon talk with the attorney general over the matter.In this AFP file photo taken on 24 April 2013 Bangladeshi civilian volunteers assist in rescue operations after an eight-storey building collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka. Photo: AFPThe case was delayed for three years as there was no permission to frame charge sheets against the six government servants involved in the matter.The public administration, and labour and employment ministry argued that they won’t give permission to frame charges against its officials as they did not commit any serious crime.The police finally framed charges against the officials despite no permission from the ministry. Taking the matter into cognizance, the Dhaka district and sessions judge court framed the charge sheet on 18 July on 2016.Dhaka PP office said eight accused filed an appeal with the High Court challenging the charge sheet. Following a hearing on the issue, the higher court passed a stay order. Meanwhile, stay order of six have been withdrawn. The trial remains stalled as the higher court extended stay in favour of former mayor Refayet Ullah and former councilor Mohammad Ali Khan.Out of 41 accused in the case, only Sohel Rana, owner of the building, is in jail while 32 are on bail, six are in hiding while two of them have died.Asked about the matter, Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik told Prothom Alo that it seems that the state has no interest about any cases other than political ones.This is why the state is not taking any action to withdraw the stay on the case, he said.What does the charge sheet say?Savar police first investigated the incident. Then, the Detective Branch (DB) of police probed for the second time and finally, police’s Crime and Investigation Department (CID) conducted another investigation.According to the charge sheet, a crack was seen on the third floor’s pillars and walls of the Rana Plaza at 9:30am on 23 April 2013. Following the incident, BGMEA officials immediately visited the spot and asked the authorities to stop using the building until a BUET team examined it.But the owners of five garments factories forced the workers to carry on their work on 24 April. On that day, Rana Plaza’s owners—Khaleq and Sohel Rana—said that ‘the building won’t collapse in a hundred years.’In this AFP file photo taken on 24 April 2013 Bangladeshi garment workers help evacuate a survivor using lengths of textiles as a slide to evacuate them from the rubble after an eight-storey building collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka. Photo: AFPThe charges sheet said Rana Plaza’s owner Khaleq and his son Sohel Rana resorted to corruption at every step of constructing the building, making it a death trap. Five garment factories were opened in the building. Heavy electric generators, big sewing machines were set up inside the building. On the morning of the disaster day, the electricity power went off at 9:00am. They then turned on three generators. The building immediately collapsed.Statement stopped in another caseCID submitted a charge sheet on 26 April 2015 in a case filed by RAJUK (Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha). The case was filed under the building construction act and 18 persons including Sohel Rana were named. Taking this charge sheet into consideration, on 14 June next year, the senior judicial magistrate of Dhaka framed charges. A number of plaintiffs challenged the order and sought revision with the district and session judge court at Dhaka.Recording of statements pertaining to the case under the building construction act came to a halt as a revision petition was filed, said state-prosecutor Anwarul Kabir.The statements will be taken once the documents are delivered from the chief judicial magistrate court. But the course of recording statement has been running under a special judge court of Dhaka division. Charges were framed against 10 people including Sohel Rana on 21 May 2017.*This report appeared in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin and Toriqul Islam
Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 4 min read Say you’re visiting a new city to meet a client or scout out a business location. In the past, you might have spent hours searching your network, trying to find someone to show you the lay of the land. But with the free service Startuptravels, the work is done for you with a few clicks. That was the impetus for Anders Hasselstrøm’s project. The Copenhagen-based tech entrepreneur often traveled to Scotland on business. Last summer he seized on the idea that there was potential to up the value of those visits. “I was traveling back and forth twice a month, and I realized I should connect with entrepreneurs while I was spending so much time there,” he says. Unfortunately, Hasselstrøm couldn’t find a simple, online way to do that. “I reached out to other entrepreneurs I knew and found they were having the same issue.” His goal was to develop a service that connected visiting entrepreneurs with fellow businesspeople based in the city. The traveler could ask to grab a coffee, request an introduction to another entrepreneur, or ask for help finding local vendors or resources for a project. He or she could even barter for office space or a place to stay during the trip.To further hone the idea, Hasselstrøm connected with developers Henrik Haugbølle and Rasmus Frandsen. The three surveyed every other entrepreneur they knew—more than 250 in all—to find out their travel patterns and needs. Among the suggestions for the network was to base users’ profiles on their LinkedIn page. In practice, Startuptravels users register on the site using their LinkedIn login, and their profiles, work histories and other details automatically transfer over. The info can then be modified with useful tags like “Early Entrepreneur” and “Investor.” As soon as someone decides where and when to travel, he or she can look up locals to meet during specific dates. As more people join the site, Startuptravels’ algorithm will weed through the listings to suggest entrepreneurs with similar backgrounds and interests. Still in beta since launching in October, Startuptravels now counts nearly 3,000 active users in 120 countries. Hasselstrøm’s reliance on a community of developers to build the site saved costs and time, and created a built-in set of evangelists to promote the service. “Our co-developers were the guys who fit the archetype of our website’s persona,” Hasselstrøm says. “They are power users who are willing to give their time, office space and perhaps a spare couch to make the service valuable to fellow entrepreneurs.” Why the name Startuptravels instead of something with broader appeal? Hasselstrøm says the point was to make the service relevant to entrepreneurs at a specific stage in their careers. It also doesn’t hurt that the startup community is, by his thinking, the cool place to be right now. “Our network wouldn’t have been as valuable five or even two years ago, but today the startup economy is booming worldwide,” he says. “Startup people are the new rock stars, so now it’s not uncommon for people to identify as such. Startups now have much more value, not only in the number of people who are involved in [them], but in the respect for the word startup itself.” March 11, 2015 Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story appears in the March 2015 issue of Start Up. Subscribe »
(Image Courtesy:) Advertisement Facebook has leapfrogged Microsoft and Google’s parent company Alphabet in securing maximum profit per employee in the second quarter of 2017 while Twitter suffered a hefty loss.Facebook, which employed 20,658 persons in the past quarter – a 43 percent increase over the same period last year – made USD$188,498 (Roughly 682 million UGX) per employee, according to a report in ReCode.Microsoft made USD$52,400 (Roughly 189.5 million UGX) and Alphabet USD$46,610 (Roughly 168.7 million UGX) per employee – four times less profit per employee than social media giant Facebook – in the three months that ended on June 30. – Advertisement – Verizon, AT&T and Ford followed with USD$27,405 (Roughly 99 million UGX), USD$15,410 (Roughly 55.7 million UGX) and USD$10,098 (Roughly 36.5 million) per employee respectively.Twitter, which saw a net loss of USD$116 million last quarter, lost nearly USD$36,000 per employee.The reason for Facebook’s efficiency is that software products do not require humans for the production and distribution process.The research that was restricted to select major companies that have reported their employee count in their latest quarterly earnings, did not include Apple as they do not have a quarterly updated headcount.credit: NDTV news