The week in business: Uber probed for alleged gender discrimination

By Abhiruchi Ranjan

Indian dairy farmers breathed a sigh of relief as Maharashtra government hiked milk procurement price to Rs 25 after four days of being at loggerheads with the government. In other news, the Chinese may have reason to worry as Trump openly states that he won’t have any qualms when it comes to imposing tariffs on all of Chinese imports.

Here are five important business stories you may have missed from last week.

Uber faces charges of gender discrimination

Uber Technologies Inc. has come under the radar of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for supposed gender discrimination practices. Infamous for its sexist corporate culture, the company is being prodded for violating norms on the grounds of hiring practices and pay parity. The EEOC is interviewing former and current Uber employees and trying to avail documents from executives to get to the truth of the matter. While CEO Dara Khosrowshani assures that the company’s chauvinistic culture is long gone, the company continues to grapple with five other federal investigations that relate to pricing practices, bribery claims abroad and taking aid of a software tool to dodge local transport regulators.

India hopes for Brexit as EU FTA approaches dead end

With no negotiations having taken place since 2013, EU and Indian officials may finally bid adieu to their longstanding free trade agreement. While the EU blame India for not being flexible in trade negotiations in areas of dairy, automobiles and wine, India also complains about not being given access to the services sector. These courses of actions have led to India hoping to leverage on Brexit. If Brexit does happen, India might find it easier to discuss a deal with the EU as UK has a major share of India’s EU trade and investment. On the other hand, UK seems eager on working out a deal with India which could grant them access to the services sector.

MCA to review offences under Companies Act, 2013

The Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) has set up a committee to reconsider the legalities of certain wrongdoings under the Companies Act, 2013. The 10-member board aims to not only review but also re-categorise compoundable and non-compoundable offences. Moreover, the fine and imprisonment aspects will also be looked into. Certain offences might just be let go with a fine attached as a penalty in order to bring more serious matters to notice of trial courts and people. The existing mechanism of imposing penalties would also be evaluated. Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas is heading the panel and will look into decriminalising 83 offences which are compoundable under the act per say. These offences include those relating to remuneration of people and managerial positions.

Milk procurement price rises to Rs 25

Maharashtra government gave into the demands of dairy farmers and increased milk procurement price to Rs. 25. After four days of protest, the government agreed to the Rs. 5 increment which would come into effect from July 21. The strike was a result of farmers being dissatisfied with a procurement price ranging between Rs. 14 and Rs. 20 and most of the dairies passing on milk at a considerably higher mark-up. The government had also previously released a statement about providing a subsidy of Rs. 50/kg for export of milk powder and Rs. 5/ litre for export of milk to be paid to dairies in lieu of certain dairies raising milk prices by Rs. 3/litre, the New Indian Express reported.

US-China trade war intensifies

Talk about adding fuel to the fire. In a recent interview with CNBC, US President Trump stated that, if required, he would willingly impose tariffs on all of Chinese imported goods. Annual Chinese imports stood at $505.5 billion as compared to the US exporting goods worth $129.9 billion. As of now, Chinese goods worth $34 billion have fallen prey to US tariffs, a number which we can see increasing in the near future going by Trump’s statement. China may not be able to reciprocate the same hostility going by only dollar volume. This move may be carried out by the US to try and get China to waive their tariffs and pledge to not imitate American technology.

Abhiruchi Ranjan is a writing analyst at Qrius

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