Top 10 business headlines: Package for MSMEs, liquidity boost and more

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing details of special package at a press conference in New Delhi
Under the Rs 20-trillion “Atmanirbhar Bharat” package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the finance minister on Wednesday released a slew of measures to revive the Indian economy. From boosting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) schemes, here are the top ten headlines that made news on Wednesday:

FM Sitharaman announces big-bang package for MSMEs to revive economy

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a  stimulus package of nearly Rs 5.94 trillion to provide relief to MSMEs, NBFCs, power distribution companies, real estate sector, organised sector employees and contractors working with the government. Read more here

Govt likely to purchase gold from households without seeking the source

According to a source, the government is working on a series of measures, including using household gold and foreign exchange reserves, to finance the proposed expenditure to revive the economy. Read more here

Poor, farm sector likely to be FM Nirmala Sitharaman's next focus

After announcing a package that benefits small businesses, real estate, organised-sector workers and others, finance ministry is likely to turn her attention to the rural and urban poor and the agricultural sector. Read more here

Rs 20-trn package: Govt reduces EPF contribution for companies for 3 months

The government has reduced the rate of contribution for private sector firms towards EPF schemes from a total of 24 per cent to 20 per cent of the wages for the next three months. Read more here

Covid-19 package: MSME definition changed, loans worth Rs 3-trn announced

In a surprise move on Wednesday, FM Sitharaman changed the definition of MSMEs, a proposal that had languished with a parliamentary standing committee since July 2018, and also announced loans worth Rs 3 trillion for 4.5 million units. Read more here

Without more stimulus, India's GDP may contract 9% in FY21: Pronab Sen

According to former chief statistician Pronab Sen, India's GDP will contract by 9 per cent in 2020-21 if the government does not go beyond the package announced by the finance ministry. Read more here

Sitharaman gives liquidity boost of Rs 75,000 cr to shadow banks, MFIs

The government has announced a special liquidity scheme of Rs 30,000 crore for non-banking finance companies, housing finance companies and MFIs, which are finding it difficult to raise money from the debt markets. Read more here

Kotak Bank profit before tax slips 10.6% at Rs 2,674 cr for March 2020 qtr

Kotak Mahindra Bank reported a 10.6 per cent decline in consolidated profit before tax at Rs 2,674.4 crore for the quarter ended March 2020, due to higher provisioning on account of Covid-19 and lower other income. Read more here

Lockdown or not, 20% of India’s retail to shut shop

According to Economic Times report, about a fifth of the retail shops across India may shut down even if coronavirus lockdown is lifted soon as customers are expected to shop only for essential goods.

UP woos global majors looking to exit China

The Uttar Pradesh government has started talks with the US, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and members of the European Union to attract companies to invest in the state, especially those looking to shift from China, a Livemint report said.

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