Cards : Service Charge and Surcharge To Be Waived

Customers will not have to pay service charge, user charge and convenience fee on card and online transactions, including mobile wallets. This will come into force, once the steps approved by the Union Cabinet on 24th February come into effect. This will reduce transaction costs for consumers while making digital payments. At present, payment gateways levy a service charge and pay the amount to the government. The vendor using the payment gateway pays a convenience charge. 

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Are Indian ads coming of age with social messages?
New Delhi : Why should laundry be a woman's job? asks a new TV commercial for a detergent. Featuring the father of a young, working woman who gives voice to inequality in homes, the video is one of the growing number of similar ads that are touching upon social issues like gender stereotyping while marketing products, and hitting a chord among audiences.
 
So are Indian ads coming of age as far as gender sensitivity is concerned? Yes, say many, although there are still those fairness ads that equate success and happiness with the skin tone of a woman. Or a man.
 
But coming to the ones that have positive messages riding on them, the latest ad of Ariel's "Share the Load" campaign has gone viral on the social media, a testimony to its popularity. Sharat Verma, associate brand director of Fabric Care, P&G India, said that commercial approach is a part of a bigger movement of making ads that are more purposeful and meet the needs of consumers.
 
"According to a study by a private agency that we have supported, two out of three children in India agree that washing clothes is only their mother's job. And 73 percent married women agree that mothers teach household chores to only their daughters, not sons. But ironically, 79 percent fathers would want to get their daughters married to a man who will help with household chores. This campaign therefore takes the conversation on social inequality within households forward," Verma told IANS.
 
The best ads also avoid a sermonising tone.
 
Another one that won many hearts was a sanitary napkin's 'Touch the Pickle' campaign. Challenging the age-old superstition that associated menstruating women with 'impurity', the ad hit a chord with the masses, and went on to win the Glass Lion at Cannes. A new award category, the Glass Lion seeks to honour work that challenge gender stereotype.
 
Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer of BBDO, the agency behind 'Touch the Pickle', said that ads with social messages are a response to what is happening in society.
 
"There are 10,000 videos released in a day around the world. To make your presence felt in such a rush, you have to connect to the audience. We try to identify a conflict, like gender stereotyping or gender inequality in education, and resolve it. The brand does well commercially because it touches the people, and the social message also goes through," Paul said.
 
BBDO's ad for Visa Debit Card was another video that challenged one to think of solutions to age-old problems. Set in a village in Rajasthan where girls drop out of school because they have to walk miles to get water, the protagonist purchases sewing machines online, and then gets tailor-made saris for the young women with alphabets on them. This way they can learn to read from each other's saris while going to get water.
 
K.V. Sridhar, chief creative officer, SapientNitro India, says that Indian advertising has come a long way and with people wanting to break norms and challenge stereotypes, the ad world has started reflecting it. "A campaign is all about treatment and if a big brand is able to treat bold concepts subtly, then the message will be disseminated in a better way," he said. "It will also encourage smaller brands to follow suit," he added.
 
Ragini Sharma, an advertising professional, however opined that ads such as the ones mentioned or which have a social message, do not necessarily imply that change had arrived. "But there is definitely a shift. I mean, for every one ad that touches you or makes you think, there will be three others that, well, don't. There's however no denying that movement ads are becoming very popular," she said.
 
Paul agrees and adds that the ad world is moving ahead from slogan chanting to becoming platforms of unmet needs. "Honestly, you don't know what will do well. With social media, you now get immediate reaction. All you got to do is be as authentic as possible. True empathy creates a following," he said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article

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COMMENTS

Premguptamajhi

3 months ago

I want sawmill in service

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

I am so happy to see this social service that ad companies can do.

Could this be a part of the companies' CSR mandate?

We desperately need ads for rules of the road, public cleanliness, to name just a few urgent problems facing India.

52 mn Indians may have to depend on rural job plan for 20 years
With a 14-percent rise in funding for the programme run under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the 2016-17 Budget, the world’s largest state-run jobs plan, after a decade of operation, continues to be India’s top poverty alleviation programme.
 
MGNREGA, which guarantees 100 days of work to unskilled labourers in villages of India, will employ at least 52 million people and provide livelihoods to their families. That means about 260 million (considering an average family of five) will depend on it over the next 20 years, according to an IndiaSpend analysis.
 
NREGA funding has risen 18 percent over three years. Unlike last year, though, when the programme exhausted its money by December, it is unclear what might happen this year when -- which is more likely than if -- the money runs out.
 
In 2015-16, there was a buffer of Rs.5,000 crore in case the ministry finished its money, but New Delhi released only Rs.2,000 crore of that money, according to Aruna Nikhil Roy of the People’s Action for Employment Guarantee, a Delhi-based NGO.
 
More Indians are still poor than population of Indonesia. The absolute number of poor as well as the proportion of poor below the poverty line (according to the Tendulkar poverty line) has been declining over two decades, as we reported.
 
But about 270 million are still below the poverty line, more than the population of Indonesia (255 million), the world’s fifth-most populated country. The poverty line is the ability to spend Rs.47 per day per person in urban areas and Rs 32 in rural areas.
 
MGNREGA is being lauded for its achievements in the past decade. There are 277.9 million registered workers under the scheme, and 98.3 million of them are active workers. The programme covers all adults from rural households who seek employment.
 
The “work” under MGNREGA covers “unskilled manual labour”, providing an opportunity to every person who needs employment. Without skills, young Indians in rural areas will need MGNREGA.
 
To calculate how many Indians will need employment in the coming years, IndiaSpend looked at the illiterate rural population, according to the 2011 census. There are 51.7 million illiterate people aged 16 to 30.
 
Since they will not benefit from the Right to Education, which guarantees free and compulsory elementary education till age 14, this population will not be a part of India’s skilled labour force.
 
Skills, according to this International Labour Organisation definition, require at least five years of schooling. So, for at least 20 years, MGNREGA will likely need to support this group of Indians.
 
A word of caution: This 52 million (rounded-off) population includes only illiterates from the Census 2011 data. There are many among the literate population who have basic reading and writing skills but are not skilled enough to work in industry.
 
MGNREGA critics contend that the scheme does not help pare poverty because of corruption and poor implementation. “From a policy point of view, we should be interested in the efficiency of transferring incomes to the poor,” economist Surjit Bhalla wrote in a column recently.
 
With no cost-benefit assessment of MGNREGA work and no technical support, the programme struggles to create assets or infrastructure in rural areas, which it should, Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) economics professor Reetika Khera, wrote in a recent column.
 
MGNREGA is short of funds -- 17 percent of its budget went into paying wages and material from the previous financial year, according to a letter from Ministry of Rural Development to the Ministry of Finance. 
 
The actual allocation for MGNREGA this year is around Rs.29,000 crore ($4.6 billion).
 
This fund squeeze for MGNREGA is not new and has been evident under both the United Progressive Alliance II and the National Democratic Alliance regimes. Ending the year with pending liabilities, which effectively means workers’ wages are unpaid, has been a consistent trend.
 
As much as 95 percent of the budgetary allocation for the current financial year (2015-16) was exhausted by December 30, 2015. Further, as per the Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Finance calculations, state governments require at least an additional Rs.6,300 crore to pay wages and other expenses.
 
The drought-affected states of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh will provide 150 days of employment-against the normal 100-but there is no extra money evident, from Delhi or in their budgets.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget for MGNREGA may not be enough. Under the devolution recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, India’s states have been given more money, and hence more powers, to decide how they want to finance social welfare.
 
The erstwhile Planning Commission had 66 centrally sponsored schemes, reduced to 30 under the NITI Aayog, the body that has replaced the Planning Commission. MGNREGA is one of these 30.
 
Even though the central government has transferred social welfare to the states through “devolution” (transfer of powers-fiscal or administrative-from higher level of government to lower level of government), it will pay for important programmes, such as NREGA and rural roads.
 
Jaitley said in his budget speech: “In spite of the consequential reduced fiscal space for the Centre, the government has decided to continue supporting important national priorities such as agriculture, education, health, MGNREGA, and rural infrastructure including roads.”
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article

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