Top headlines: Govt's income support plan, manufacturing halts, and more

People gather outside DDU hospital where the bodies of four men executed at Tihar Jail, who were convicted in the Nirbhaya rape, were brought for postmortem, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
Coronavirus lockdown: Rs 60k-crore income support plan for poor in works

The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is believed to be considering an income support scheme for those worst hit by the slump in economic activity owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting nationwide lockdown. The scheme could mean transferring Rs 5,000-6,000 into the bank accounts of 80-100 million poor families, Business Standard has learnt. A one-time transfer of Rs 6,000 each into 100 million accounts will cost the exchequer Rs 60,000 crore. However, given how dynamic the situation is, officials are not yet willing to divulge the monetary size of the package. Read More...

Covid-19: E-commerce firms in a fix over definition of essential goods

While delivery of essential items by e-commerce firms was exempted from the 21-day coronavirus-induced lockdown called by the prime minister on Tuesday, online retailers are struggling with the distinction between essential and non-essential goods. The niggle left them facing challenges on Wednesday, with many facing forced lockdowns of warehouses and restrictions on deliveries, leading to a temporary shutdown of operations. Read More...

21-day lockdown: E-commerce firms set to resume work after police assurance

Walmart-owned Flipkart said on Wednesday it would resume services and Amazon said it was working with the government to enable its deliveries after state governments reached out to the firms, which had temporarily stopped accepting new orders amid reports of police high-handedness. The Delhi police issued a statement saying they were proactively engaging with e-commerce portals and were issuing passes to ensure agents were able to commute seamlessly and deliver essential goods to residents during the 21-day lockdown. Read More...

Coronavirus lockdown: Manufacturing grinds to a halt, companies shut plants

Manufacturing in the country has practically come to a standstill, with more and more companies shutting down their factories owing to a shortage of labour and raw materials, and a lack of logistical support against the backdrop of the nationwide lockdown. The lockdown, aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, is also impacting their plants overseas. Birla-group owned Hindalco, its subsidiary arm -- Novelis, Universal Cables and Emami Group are among some of the names who have partially or completely shutdown operations across the country. Read More...

Coronavirus: Govt asks car manufacturers to explore ventilator production

As the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues unabated, the government has asked all auto manufacturers to consider the possibility of manufacturing ventilators and other medical gear required to fight the virus. It is believed that Anand Mahindra-led Mahindra & Mahindra is in the final stage of talks with Bangalore-based ventilator exporter Skanray Technologies. Tata group, through Tata Motors, is also in last-minute negotiations with a Mysuru-based manufacturer to ramp up ventilator manufacturing.

Sebi may cut commodity derivatives timings till 5 PM over virus lockdown

The country's markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange board of India (Sebi) might soon reduce the trading hours for commodities derivatives. The regulator said that it was considering a proposal to cut down trading hours for commodities derivatives from 11.30 PM to 5 PM till the time the lockdown over coronavirus is in place. The development comes after brokers asked the regulator for such measures following the lockdown, with many of them facing a staff crunch.. Read More...

CCEA approves Rs 1,340-cr recapitalisation for weak regional rural banks

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a Rs 1,340-crore recapitalisation plan for weak regional rural banks (RRBs) to help them boost their capital to risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR) during 2020-21. RRBs are required to maintain a minimum CRAR of 9 per cent by the regulator. Of this, Rs 670 crore each would be provided by the Centre and sponsor banks, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javdekar told reporters after the Cabinet meeting. 

Lockdown, tightening of regulatory framework hurt market volumes

The nationwide 21-day lockdown affected Wednesday trading, as the average daily trading turnover for the futures and options (F&O) segment for this week was 66 per cent lower than the yearly average. Market players said lockdowns and recent tightening of the regulatory framework by the Securities and Exchange Board of India were to be blamed. Part of the reason for the drop in trading turnover was a sharp fall in the price of underlying securities. However, market players said even going by the number of contracts traded, volumes were 20 per cent lower than usual. Read More...

DoT focuses on Covid, AGR on backburner for now

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to put the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) issue on the backburner and instead focus on providing healthy and robust telecom infrastructure to the people as millions of Indians work from home amid the Covid-19 pandemic. DoT officials said that no discussions were being held on the AGR issue at present, the Economic Times reported. 

Amid demand erosion, China likely to supply equity oil to India

Cooperation between India and China is set to deepen between both the countries as global oil demand cools amid the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a strong likelyhood that Chinese oil firms may offload their share of equity oil to Indian companies at a time when the pandemic has hit the demand in their own country, Livemint said.

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