Top headlines: Govt quashes lockdown rumours; SC seeks report on migration

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is likely to hit the global economy.
Indian economy can contract 2.6%; US over 11% in worst case in 2020: Nomura

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is likely to hit the global economy, including India, hard over the next few months. With nearly 75 per cent of the Indian economy in lockdown mode, Nomura has lowered the 2020 GDP growth forecast to -0.5 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) from 4.5 per cent. “We now expect GDP growth to slide from 4.7 per cent y-o-y in Q4 2019 to 3.1 per cent in Q1 and plunge to -6.1 per cent in Q2, when both domestic and external demand will weaken. We are building in a sequential pickup in the second half of 2020, but the pace of recovery is likely to be much weaker given some lasting damage to potential output,” wrote Sonal Varma, managing director and chief India economist at Nomura in a co-authored report with Aurodeep Nandi titled 'COVID-19’s impact on the world economy'. Read More

Govt directs banks to remain operational during 21-day lockdown


The government has directed all its banks to remain operational during the three-week lockdown as part of essential services and to ensure welfare cash schemes that are part of a $22.6 billion government stimulus reach the poor. Read More


No plan to extend 21-day coronavirus lockdown: Govt quashes rumours

The government on Monday said there was no plan to extend the 21-day lockdown which came intro force on Tuesday midnight. The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting tweeted, saying Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has denied media reports claiming that the government will extend the lockdown. "There are rumours & media reports, claiming that the Government will extend the #Lockdown21 when it expires. Read More

Centre asks auto firms to make ventilators; DRDO to make 20,000 masks a day

The central government has asked automobile manufacturers to use their facilities to produce ventilators to boost the country's capacity of such machines in view of rising COVID-19 cases. The Health ministry said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will begin manufacturing 20,000 N-95 masks per day within the next week. Read More

SC seeks report from govt on steps taken to prevent migration

The Supreme Court on Monday sought a status report from the Centre by Tuesday on the measures taken in view of the large-scale migration of labourers from cities to their native villages amid the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent lockdown across the country. The top court observed that the migration of labourers out of panic and fear is becoming a bigger problem than the coronavirus. It said the court would not create more confusion by issuing directions on measures that the government is already taking to deal with the issue. Read More

RBI rate cut, government stimulus done. What are the markets eyeing now?

After the relief package by the government for the poor and the marginalized sections of society and a series of liquidity enhancing measure by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced over the past few weeks, the central bank slashed rates by a 75 basis points (bps) – the most aggressive cut in the last 10 years. That apart, the RBI put a moratorium on all equated monthly installments (EMIs) on loans to ease the borrower’s pain. On their part, the Indian markets which expected the authorities to roll out measures to stem the fall and stabilise sentiment after the over 35 per cent fall from the peak levels seen earlier this year triggered by the sudden and rampant spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic across the globe, witnessed profit booking. Read More

Coronavirus lockdown will hit asset-backed securities' performance: Moody's

Rating agency Moody's Investors Service says the nationwide lockdown in India will adversely impact the performance of the commercial vehicle and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loans in asset-backed securities (ABS). Asset-backed securities are a kind of instrument where the underlying loan pool and income stream are packaged and often rated for strength. Most assets in rated Indian ABS are commercial vehicle and SME loans. Read More

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